ARTICLE ABSTRACTAberrantly activated c-MET signaling occurs in several cancers, promoting the development of c-MET inhibitors. In this study, we found that eight of eight thyroid cancer cell lines (including six anaplastic thyroid cell lines) have prominent expression of c-MET protein. Fifty percent of the thyroid cancer cell lines (four of eight) were growth inhibited by two small molecule c-MET inhibitors (tivantinib and crizotinib) associated with apoptosis and G2–M cell-cycle arrest. However, crizotinib did not inhibit 50% proliferation of thyroid cancer cells (SW1736 and TL3) at a concentration at which the drug completely inhibited ligand-stimulated c-MET phosphorylation. However, tivantinib was less potent than crizotinib at inhibiting c-MET phosphorylation, but was more potent than crizotinib at decreasing cell growth. Suppressing c-MET protein expression and phosphorylation using siRNA targeting c-MET did not induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Taken together, tivantinib and crizotinib have off-target(s) activity, contributing to their antitumor activity. In vivo study showed that crizotinib markedly inhibited the growth of thyroid cancer cells (SW1736) in immunodeficient mice. In summary, c-MET inhibitors (tivantinib and crizotinib) suppress the growth of aggressive thyroid cancer cells, and this potential therapeutic benefit results from their non–MET-targeting effects. Mol Cancer Ther; 13(1); 134–43. ©2013 AACR.