Acquisition of Cabozantinib-Sensitive MET D1228N Mutation During Progression on Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Published:February 19, 2020DOI:



      Targeting of somatic MET mutations using crizotinib has led to strong clinical responses, most frequently in patients with lung cancer, raising the possibility of adopting similar treatment strategies in patients with MET alterations in other cancer types.

      Patient and Methods

      We describe a patient with advanced triple-negative breast cancer with a 30-fold amplification of MET. Next-generation sequencing of pre- and postprogression biopsies was performed to identify the resistance mechanism emerging after an initial exceptional response to crizotinib. The response of the resistance mutant to type I and II MET inhibitors was assessed in cultured cells.


      After progressing on crizotinib, a MET-D1228N mutation was detected, which is located in the crizotinib-binding region of the MET kinase domain. Experimental studies demonstrated that this mutation confers complete resistance to crizotinib yet retains cabozantinib sensitivity. Treatment of the patient with cabozantinib led to a subjective improvement in clinical symptoms, but the patient progressed after 7 weeks.


      Although MET mutations are rare in breast cancer, these patients may experience substantial clinical benefit from crizotinib treatment. Nevertheless, drug resistance owing to on-target MET mutations will likely be frequently encountered and comprehensive mechanistic studies to assess sensitivity of these mutants to a series of potential second-line therapies may help guide subsequent treatment for these patients.


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