Alectinib for ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer

Antonio Rossi
Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology 2016, 9 (8): 1005-13

INTRODUCTION: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements are present in about 5% of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Despite the initial response, after a median of 1-2 years, ALK-positive patients developed an acquired resistance to the ALK-inhibitor crizotinib. Among the most promising second-generation ALK-inhibitors, alectinib is being investigated in crizotinib-naïve and -resistant ALK-positive NSCLC patients.

AREAS COVERED: The current state-of-the-art of ALK-inhibitors treatment, and in particular the role of alectinib in this setting, is reviewed and discussed. A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature and of main meetings using a focused review question was undertaken. Expert commentary: Alectinib reports promising results with a good safety profile, becoming a potentially very important option for ALK-translocated NSCLC patients. The preliminary results from the J-ALEX phase III randomized trial performed in ALK-rearranged NSCLC Japanese patients showed a better activity and tolerability of alectinib versus crizotinib.

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