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Mol Diagn Ther. 2012 Jun 1;16(3):143-50. doi: 10.2165/11632830-000000000-00000.

Detection of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement in non-small cell lung cancer and related issues in ALK inhibitor therapy: a literature review.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, USA.


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, and ALK gene rearrangement (ALK+) is implicated in the oncogenesis of non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs), especially adenocarcinomas. The ALK inhibitor crizotinib was approved in August 2011 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating late-stage NSCLCs that are ALK+, with a companion fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) test using the Vysis ALK Break Apart FISH Probe Kit. This review covers pertinent issues in ALK testing, including approaches to select target patients for the test, pros and cons of different detection methods, and mechanisms as well as monitoring of acquired crizotinib resistance in ALK+ NSCLCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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