MET receptor in oncology: From biomarker to therapeutic target

Adv Cancer Res. 2020;147:259-301. doi: 10.1016/bs.acr.2020.04.006. Epub 2020 Jun 17.


First discovered in the 1984, the MET receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor or HGF (also known as scatter factor or SF) are implicated as key players in tumor cell migration, proliferation, and invasion in a variety of cancers. This pathway also plays a key role during embryogenesis in the development of muscular and nervous structures. High expression of the MET receptor has been shown to correlate with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy. MET exon 14 splicing variants, initially identified by us in lung cancer, is actionable through various tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). For this reason, this pathway is of interest as a therapeutic target. In this chapter we will be discussing the history of MET, the genetics of this RTK, and give some background on the receptor biology. Furthermore, we will discuss directed therapeutics, mechanisms of resistance, and the future of MET as a therapeutic target.

Keywords: Cancer biology; History; MET; Mechanisms; Resistance; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Signal Transduction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met