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Clinical use of crizotinib for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer

Authors Roberts PJ

Received 3 November 2012

Accepted for publication 24 January 2013

Published 26 April 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 91—101

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BTT.S29026

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Patrick J Roberts

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Absract: Discoveries over the last decade have fundamentally transformed the way we define lung cancer. Gone are the days of the simple binary classification system of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer. Today, accurate identification of the histological and molecular subtype of NSCLC is required for selecting standard cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted therapies. The identification of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements in 5-7% of NSCLC patients and the rapid clinical development of crizotinib for these patients is the most recent clinical example necessitating the proper identification of the molecular characteristics of NSCLC for treatment decisions. The discovery of ALK rearrangements in NSCLC serendipitously coincided with the development of crizotinib for other ALK or MET driven malignancies. The clinical development of crizotinib for ALK-positive NSCLC patients has been an amazing success story of translational medicine that relied on the prior clinical experience of other targeted predecessors (i.e. erlotinib in EGFR mutant NSCLC) and a compound ready for clinical development to gain expedited FDA approval. This review discusses the clinical development and use of crizotinib in NSCLC.

Keywords: Xalkori, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, ALK, EML4-ALK, HSP90 inhibitors, ROS1, MET

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