The researchers at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center have conducted a research and their findings are published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of American Association for Cancer Research. Their research suggests that physicians should screen lung cancer patients for MET amplification before determining the treatment strategy. Mayo Clinic is a non-profit organization dedicated to innovation in the field of clinical practice and research.
In their research, the investigators have found that several lung cancer cases were not responsive to standard chemotherapy. The reason behind this was that these lung cancers were positive for PD-L1. PD-L1 is a protein that allows some cells to escape attack by immune system. They then tried treating such patients with anti-PD1 immunotherapy but this also did not work out. The team then used cell line animal models and patient tissue samples with the purpose to study as to why these cancers were not responding to lung cancer treatment.
In these particular cases, they have discovered that the cancer exhibited MET oncogene amplification which creates a hostile environment for immunotherapy. Dr. Zhenkun Lou, Ph.D., a cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic and his colleagues confirmed that MET oncogene amplification should be considered when drafting lung cancer therapy after analyzing several independent cases. Also, they showed that a combination of MET inhibitor with anti-PD1 immunotherapy was effects in treating cancers in animal modes.
Although this study suggests that patients with MET oncogene amplification will require treatment with combination of MET inhibitor along with immunotherapy but this strategy requires a confirmation in a prospective clinical trial before considering it as a standard of care. Thus, Dr. Lou suggests that lung cancer patients should be screened for MET amplification or overexpression while determining the treatment.
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