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Prevalence and natural history of ALK positive non-small-cell lung cancer and the clinical impact of targeted therapy with ALK inhibitors

Authors Chia PL, Mitchell P, Dobrovic A, John T

Received 20 June 2014

Accepted for publication 3 September 2014

Published 20 November 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 423—432


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Puey Ling Chia,1 Paul Mitchell,1 Alexander Dobrovic,2–4 Thomas John1,2,4

1Department of Medical Oncology, Olivia-Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, Victoria, Australia; 2Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Austin Health, Victoria, Australia; 3Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 4School of Cancer Medicine, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: Improved understanding of molecular drivers of carcinogenesis has led to significant progress in the management of lung cancer. Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements constitute about 4%–5% of all NSCLC patients. ALK+ NSCLC cells respond well to small molecule ALK inhibitors such as crizotinib; however, resistance invariably develops after several months of treatment. There are now several newer ALK inhibitors, with the next generation of agents targeting resistance mutations. In this review, we will discuss the prevalence and clinical characteristics of ALK+ lung cancer, current treatment options, and future directions in the management of this subset of NSCLC patients.

Keywords: anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), gene rearrangements, lung cancer, kinase inhibitors, lung adenocarcinoma

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