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Cancer Med. 2017 May;6(5):953-961. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1059. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

A large, single-center, real-world study of clinicopathological characteristics and treatment in advanced ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.

Chen G1,2,3, Chen X1,2,3, Zhang Y1,2,3, Yan F1,2,3,4, Fang W1,2,3, Yang Y1,2,3, Hong S1,2,3, Miao S1,2,3,5, Wu M1,2,3,5, Huang X1,2,3,5, Luo Y1,2,3,6, Zhou C1,2,3,6, Gong R1,2,3,6, Huang Y1,2,3, Zhou N1,2,3, Zhao H1,2,3, Zhang L1,2,3.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China.
State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangzhou, China.
Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Anesthesiology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China.
Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Medical Oncology, the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhu Hai, China.


Crizotinib has achieved astonishing success in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement. However, no real-world studies described the clinicopathological characteristics and treatment of such patients in China. Patients were consecutively collected from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. Chi-square test was applied to explore the relationship between ALK fusion status and metastasis sites. Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariable analyses were used to estimate progression-free survival (PFS). A total of 291 advanced NSCLC patients (ALK (+), N = 97; both ALK & epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (-), N = 194) were enrolled. The occurrence of brain metastasis in ALK-positive patients was significantly higher than double-negative ones both at baseline (26.5% vs. 16.5%, P = 0.038) and during treatment (25.8% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.003), but opposite for pleural effusion (6.2% vs. 26.9%, P < 0.001 at baseline; 3.1% vs. 10.3%, P = 0.031 during treatment). ALK-positive patients of 53.6% used crizotinib, whereas others only received chemotherapy (37.1%) or supportive care (9.3%). Usage of crizotinib prolonged PFS compared with chemotherapy in ALK-positive patients (median PFS 17.6 m vs. 4.8 m, P < 0.001). ALK-positive NSCLC had more brain metastasis and less pleural effusion than double-negative ones. Crizotinib showed better PFS than chemotherapy in advanced ALK-positive NSCLC at any line. However, half advanced ALK-positive patients never received crizotinib, which was grim and need improving.


ALK ; NSCLC ; clinicopathological characteristics; crizotinib; real-world study

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