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Nat Med. 2012 Feb 12;18(3):378-81. doi: 10.1038/nm.2658.

RET, ROS1 and ALK fusions in lung cancer.

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Pathology Project for Molecular Targets, the Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan.


Through an integrated molecular- and histopathology-based screening system, we performed a screening for fusions of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and c-ros oncogene 1, receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1) in 1,529 lung cancers and identified 44 ALK-fusion-positive and 13 ROS1-fusion-positive adenocarcinomas, including for unidentified fusion partners for ROS1. In addition, we discovered previously unidentified kinase fusions that may be promising for molecular-targeted therapy, kinesin family member 5B (KIF5B)-ret proto-oncogene (RET) and coiled-coil domain containing 6 (CCDC6)-RET, in 14 adenocarcinomas. A multivariate analysis of 1,116 adenocarcinomas containing these 71 kinase-fusion-positive adenocarcinomas identified four independent factors that are indicators of poor prognosis: age ≥ 50 years, male sex, high pathological stage and negative kinase-fusion status.

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