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Understanding ALK+ NSCLC: Causes, Prevalence, and Prognosis | Takeda Oncology

ALK+ Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (mNSCLC)

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Anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) NSCLC is a unique type of NSCLC caused by a change in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, and accounts for about 3% to 5% of people with NSCLC. This means there will be roughly 40,000 new cases of ALK+ NSCLC worldwide each year. 1-3

ALK+ NSCLC patients tend to have a more advanced stage of the disease upon diagnosis and may experience the spread of the disease to their brain. In fact, as many as 75% of people with ALK+ NSCLC will ultimately develop brain metastases during the course of their disease. 4,5


1 Gainor JF, Varghese AM, Ou SH, et al. ALK rearrangements are mutually exclusive with mutations in EGFR or KRAS: an analysis of 1,683 patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2013;19(15):4273-4281. 2 Koivunen JP, Mermel C, Zejnullahu K, et al. EML4-ALK fusion gene and efficacy of an ALK kinase inhibitor in lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2008;14(13):4275-4283. 3 Wong DW, Leung EL, So KK, et al. The EML4-ALK fusion gene is involved in various histologic types of lung cancers from nonsmokers with wild-type EGFR and KRAS. Cancer. 2009;115(8):1723-1733.  4 Johung et al. JCO ; 34(2), January 2016. 5 Rangachari et al. Lung Cancer ; 88(2015), 108-11 8

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