Targeted therapies have opened new perspectives in clinical oncology. However, clinicians have observed a lack of response in a relevant percentage of patients and frequent relapse in patients who initially respond. Therefore, a compelling challenge is to identify mechanisms underlying resistance and strategies to circumvent these hurdles. A growing body of evidence indicates that MET, the tyrosine kinase receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), is frequently implicated in resistance to targeted therapies. In this review, we highlight cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms through which MET drives resistance, and we discuss some unsolved issues related to the selection of patients who could benefit from combined therapies. Significance: Resistance is, at present, the major limitation to the efficacy of targeted therapies. Inappropriate MET activation is very frequently implicated in the onset of primary and secondary resistance to these therapies. Deciphering the role of the HGF/MET axis in esistance to different drugs could guide the design of new clinical trials based on combinatorial therapies, and it might help to overcome, or possibly prevent, the onset of resistance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas