Clinical development and approval of second generation ALK inhibitors for ALK rearranged lung cancer

Daniel B. Costa

Abstract

Lung cancers are heterogeneous tumors often characterized by mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) genomic aberrations were first identified in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in 2007 (1). We now know that a substantial fraction (approximately 5%) of all NSCLCs harbor rearrangements between ALK and fusion partners (such as EML4, TFG, KIF5B, KLC1 among others).