Increased MET gene copy number negatively affects the survival of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients.BMC Cancer. 2019 Mar 18; 19(1):240.BC
Since Mesenchymal epithelial transition (MET) amplification has been regarded as a potential treatment target, the knowledge of its prevalence and prognostic importance is crucial. However, its clinical pathologic characteristics are not well known in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
We investigated MET gene status with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay in 495 ESCC cases using tissue microarrays. Prognostic significance as well as correlations with various clinicopathological parameters was evaluated.
Among 495 patients, 28 (5.7%) cases were MET FISH positive, including 5 cases (1%) with true gene amplification. There were no statistically significant associations between MET FISH-positivity and clinicopathologic characteristics. A significantly poorer prognosis was observed in 28 patients with MET FISH-positivity (disease free survival/DFS, P < 0.001 and overall survival/OS, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed MET FISH-positivity was an independent prognostic factor for DFS (hazard ratio/HR, 1.953; 95% confidence interval/CI, 1.271-2.999; P = 0.002) and OS (HR, 1.926; 95% CI, 1.243-2.983; P = 0.003). MET FISH-positivity was associated with DFS (P = 0.022 and 0.020) and OS (P = 0.046 and 0.024) both in stage I-II ESCC and in stage III-IVa ESCC. No statistical significance (DFS, P = 0.492 and OS, P = 0.344) was detected between stage I-II ESCC with MET FISH-positivity and stage III-IVa ESCC with FISH-negativity.
Increased MET gene copy number is an independent prognostic factor in ESCC, and ESCC might have potentially been up-staged by increased MET gene copy number. The results indicate that increased MET gene copy number is a very promising parameter, in clinical therapy and follow-up plans.