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 » Introduction
 » Case Report
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  Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 178-181
 

Role of crizotinib in c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition-positive nonsmall cell lung cancer patients


Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication1-Dec-2017

Correspondence Address:
Dr. U Batra
Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.219592

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 » Abstract 

The increasing cases of NSCLC and improved understanding of its molecular biology has lead to identification of its varied driver mutations. cMET amplification has an important role as resistance mechanism for EGFR TKIs. Crizotinib is a drug which shows its anti-tumoral effect in cMET positive cases. Here we present a case series of three such patients who achieved were cMET amplified and showed partial response on Crizotinib.


Keywords: Brain metastasis, c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition, crizotinib, nonsmall cell lung cancer


How to cite this article:
Batra U, Jain A, Sharma M, Bajaj R, Suryavanshis M. Role of crizotinib in c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition-positive nonsmall cell lung cancer patients. Indian J Cancer 2017;54:178-81

How to cite this URL:
Batra U, Jain A, Sharma M, Bajaj R, Suryavanshis M. Role of crizotinib in c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition-positive nonsmall cell lung cancer patients. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Apr 23];54:178-81. Available from: http://www.indianjcancer.com/text.asp?2017/54/1/178/219592



 » Introduction Top


Nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80%–85% of all lung cancers and majority of the patients have advance disease at the time of initial presentation.[1] Worldwide, 1.8 million new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed, and nearly 1.6 million people died of this grave disease in the year 2012.[2] The survival of patients with advanced NSCLC had reached a plateau with the conventional chemotherapy. However, with the understanding of molecular pathology and advent of targeted therapies, the survival of patients with advanced NSCLC is increasing. Nearly 40% of NSCLC patients harbor at least one activated pathway with mutations in either KRAS gene or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene or fusion gene of echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) and the intracellular domain of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), named as EML4-ALK or ROS1 gene or c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition (c-MET) gene.[3],[4] Studies have demonstrated that mutations in various growth-regulating proteins such as KRAS, EGFR, EML4-ALK, MEK-1, B-RAF, and KIF5B-RET as well as inactivation of growth-inhibiting pathways such as TP53, PTEN, p16, and LKB-1 are responsible for the disruption of critical cell signaling pathways in NSCLC. Mutations in tyrosine kinase domain of the EGFR gene have shown a good response to personalized treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as erlotinib, afatinib, and gefitinib in NSCLC.[5],[6] Similarly, inhibition of EML4 ALK fusion protein by ALK and c-MET inhibitors such as crizotinib has shown a very high response rate in advanced NSCLC.[7],[8],[9]

Studies have reported that c-mesenchymal-epidermal transition (c-Met) receptor belonging to tyrosine kinase family plays a key role in the survival of cancer cell. The expression of this receptor kinase induces cell migration and invasion which are crucial steps for metastasis in various cancers.[10] An oral ATP-competitive TKI of ALK and c-MET, crizotinib has shown promising evidence in the treatment of patients with NSCLC.[11] Moreover, crizotinib has also demonstrated its antitumoral effect in c-MET-positive patients in several clinical trials. Here, we report a case series of three patients with c-MET-amplified NSCLC treated with crizotinib therapy.


 » Case Report Top


The clinical, histopathologic, and molecular characteristics of these patients are summarized in [Table 1]. There were two males and one female with metastatic adenocarcinoma NSCLC. Repeat biopsy for all the three patients showed c-MET amplification during the course of treatment. All patients were treated with crizotinib with minimal side effects.
Table 1: The clinicopathologic features of patients

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The first patient was a 58-year-old male reformed smoker who was diagnosed as Stage IV NSCLC adenocarcinoma with multiple bony metastases [Figure 1]a. He received four cycles of palliative chemotherapy with carboplatin and pemetrexed. Post four cycles of chemotherapy patient showed a partial response [Figure 1]b. EGFR mutation L858R was detected in exon 21 and patient was started on an oral TKI (erlotinib). One month post erlotinib, the patient developed brain seizures and hematuria. Repeat positron emission tomography (PET) showed disease progression with renal lesion whereas brain metastasis was detected on magnetic resonance imaging [Figure 1]c. A repeat biopsy was done from renal lesion which revealed the presence of thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1)-positive adenocarcinoma and also showed c-MET amplification in addition to L858R mutation. The patient received whole brain radiotherapy followed by c-MET inhibitor crizotinib. One month post crizotinib therapy, the patient showed a significant response to treatment [Figure 1]d followed by a stable disease after 3 months. However, he had progressive brain lesions.
Figure 1: (a) PET-CT shows multiple bone metastasis (b) Partial response post chemotherapy (c) Progressive disease (d) Significant response to Crizotinib

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The second patient was a 50-year-old female with poorly differentiated carcinoma histology, favoring adenocarcinoma. Initial PET-computed tomography showed metabolically active right lung mass with lymph nodal and bony involvement. Molecular testing revealed EGFR wild type and no rearrangement of ALK was found. Patient received three cycles of carboplatin and pemetrexed combination as palliative systemic chemotherapy. Post three cycles of chemotherapy, patient showed disease progression. Patient was put on single-agent docetaxel therapy, and post three cycles, there was a disease progression [Figure 2]a. Further molecular testing by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed ROS1 not amplified but c-MET amplification. Hence, she was started on crizotinib. Two months post crizotinib therapy, patient showed a partial response to treatment. The patient continues to take crizotinib [Figure 2]b.
Figure 2: (a) Progressive disease after chemotherapy (b) Partial response after Crizotinib

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The third patient was a 78-year-old male who presented with massive left-sided pleural effusion, for which he underwent medical thoracoscopy [Figure 3]a. The biopsy revealed the presence of TTF-1-positive adenocarcinoma. Further molecular testing revealed EGFR wild type, ALK not rearranged, ROS1 not amplified, c-MET amplified by FISH. In view of old age, he was not willing for chemotherapy, therefore, started on crizotinib therapy. Revaluation after 2 months revealed a partial response to treatment [Figure 3]b. He tolerated crizotinib well without any major side effect and at present continues to take crizotinib and has stable disease [Figure 3]c.
Figure 3: (a) Disease at presentation (b) Partial response after Crizotinib for 2 months (c) Stable disease after 4 months

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 » Discussion Top


Several molecular epidemiological studies of NSCLC from India have reported the incidence of EGFR mutation and ALK gene rearrangement in the range of 23.2%–35% and 2.7%–3%, respectively.[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] However, with the increasing use of Next-generation sequencing (NGS), more targetable alternatives are being determined. c-MET is found in 3%–4% of patients based on FISH analysis, usually exclusive of other mutations.[17],[18],[19],[20]

Data from recent studies indicate that activating mutations and genomic amplification in the MET gene could potentially act as an important therapeutic target in NSCLC.[21],[22],[23],[24],[25] c-MET is the tyrosine kinase receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) that contains an intracellular juxtamembrane domain encoded in part by MET exon 14 which may respond to treatment with c-MET inhibitors such as crizotinib and cabozantinib. Around 4% of NSCLC cases have amplification of the MET gene resulting in a poor prognosis.[20],[26] Binding of HGF induces dimerization of MET that induces activation of tyrosine kinase by phosphorylation of the residues Y1230, Y1234, and Y1235 and promotes tumor angiogenesis, cell invasion, and metastasis.[27],[28] Studies have reported that amplification of c-MET pathway might play a critical role in tumor aggressiveness. MET amplification in lung cancer patients also leads to resistance to oral TKI such as gefitinib or erlotinib due to the lack of point mutation T790M in exon 20 of EGFR.[29]

There is very limited data on the role of the oral ATP-competitive TKI of c-MET, crizotinib in the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC. Studies have shown that crizotinib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of MET resulting in the inhibition of MET signaling in NSCLC.[30] In an eight-patient series of MET exon 14 mutations, Paik et al. reported a partial response in few patients with crizotinib therapy.[25] Another case report showed a partial response with crizotinib in an NSCLC patient with de novo MET amplification.[31] Similarly, Schwab et al. reported a major partial response to crizotinib in a squamous cell lung carcinoma patient with de novo c-MET amplification in the absence of ALK rearrangement.[32]

With all three patients showing a partial response to treatment, our study confirms the previous reports on crizotinib activity in NSCLC patients with MET amplification.


 » Conclusion Top


Due to the absence of novel and effective treatment strategy, reducing the Metastatic spread by using novel c-MET inhibitors is certainly one of the most promising approaches for the successful cancer treatment at present. Further studies seem warranted to evaluate the role of c-MET inhibitor in treating patients with metastatic NSCLC.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
 » References Top

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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

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