(with sound) of c-Met: Promise for cancer therapy
Multiple Roles in Cancer
ArQule's lead product, tivantinib (ARQ 197), is designed to block the activity of a molecule known as c-Met that plays multiple key roles in human cancer, including cancer cell growth, survival, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis (the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another). c-Met is inappropriately expressed in almost all types of human cancer, with an established role in tumor development. Activating mutations of c-Met have been increasingly identified in human cancer.
Receptor Tyrosine Kinases
c-Met is a member of a class of enzymes known as receptor tyrosine kinases (“RTKs”) that have emerged with significant potential for anti-cancer therapy. The encouraging results seen with agents such as Imatinib against cancers with the constitutively active Bcr-Abl mutation, as well as Erlotinib, an inhibitor of mutated and over-expressed EGF receptor kinase, have provided an important proof-of-principle that molecularly targeted RTK inhibitors can have an important and broad impact against various cancers.
Broad Potential Applications
c-Met mediates the signals for a variety of physiological processes that have implications for oncogenesis (the initiation of cancer), including migration, invasion, cell proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels). A wide variety of human cancers exhibit constitutively dysregulated c-Met activity, either through over-expression of the c-Met kinase, activating mutations in c-Met, or increased autocrine or paracrine secretion of the c-Met ligand, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF). These alterations have been strongly implicated in tumor progression and metastasis in a variety of cancers, and a high constitutive activation of the c-Met RTK has been correlated with poor clinical prognosis.
We believe the inappropriate expression of c-Met in most cancers and its role in controlling multiple signal transduction pathways involved in tumor growth and metastasis render this enzyme a highly compelling therapeutic target for human cancer.