Ockham's razor for the MET-driven invasive growth linking idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cancer

Giulia Maria Stella, Alessandra Gentile, Alice Baderacchi, Federica Meloni, Melissa Milan, Silvia Benvenuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) identifies a specific lung disorder characterized by chronic, progressive fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown etiology, which lacks effective treatment. According to the current pathogenic perspective, the aberrant proliferative events in IPF resemble those occurring during malignant transformation. Main body: Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are known to be key players in cancer onset and progression. It has been demonstrated that RTK expression is sometimes also altered and even druggable in IPF. One example of an RTK-the MET proto-oncogene-is a key regulator of invasive growth. This physiological genetic program supports embryonic development and post-natal organ regeneration, as well as cooperating in the evolution of cancer metastasis when aberrantly activated. Growing evidence sustains that MET activation may collaborate in maintaining tissue plasticity and the regenerative potential that characterizes IPF. Conclusion: The present work aims to elucidate-by applying the logic of simplicity-the bio-molecular mechanisms involved in MET activation in IPF. This clarification is crucial to accurately design MET blockade strategies within a fully personalized approach to IPF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number256
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2 2016


  • Cancer
  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Invasive growth
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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