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J Thorac Oncol. 2013 Dec;8(12):1570-3. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000029.

The central nervous system as a sanctuary site in ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Departments of *Medicine, ‚Ä°Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts; and ‚ĆDepartment of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California.


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements define a distinct molecular subset of non-small-cell lung cancer that is highly responsive to treatment with the ALK inhibitor crizotinib. Recently, it has been recognized that the brain is a frequent site of relapse among ALK-positive patients treated with crizotinib. In this report, we expand on these observations and present a series of ALK-positive patients with two distinct forms of metastatic, central nervous system involvement: intramedullary spinal cord metastasis and leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.

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