First-line Treatment Options for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) With ALK Gene Rearrangement

The Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) gene is important for production of a protein that is important for brain development and has some effects on the nervous system. Mutation of this gene can cause cancer.

Patients who have advanced NSCLC with a form of the ALK gene that has genetic material that has been rearranged in an abnormal manner should first be enrolled into clinical trials for the consideration of treatment with crizotinib. Crizotinib inhibits the activity of proteins produced from mutated version of genes (e.g. ALK) and helps in preventing cancer growth.

Patients unable to tolerate the side effects of crizotinib may be switched to ceritinib. Ceritinib inhibits the function of ALK and helps in preventing cancer growth.