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Crizotinib (Xalkori)

Crizotinib is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Tyrosine kinases are enzymes that act as chemical messengers, which can stimulate cells to grow, including cancer cells. Crizotinib inhibits (blocks) a specific tyrosine kinase called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Some cancer cells have an overactive version of ALK, including about 5% of cases of non small cell lung cancer. For cancers where ALK is overactive crizotinib can be used to try and stop the cancer cells from growing.

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Web Resources: Xalkori (Crizotinib)
Latest Research Publications

Web Resources: Xalkori (Crizotinib) (5 links)

Latest Research Publications

Kroeze SG, Fritz C, Hoyer M, et al.
Toxicity of concurrent stereotactic radiotherapy and targeted therapy or immunotherapy: A systematic review.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 53:25-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Both stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) and immune- or targeted therapy play an increasingly important role in personalized treatment of metastatic disease. Concurrent application of both therapies is rapidly expanding in daily clinical practice. In this systematic review we summarize severe toxicity observed after concurrent treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched for English literature published up to April 2016 using keywords "radiosurgery", "local ablative therapy", "gamma knife" and "stereotactic", combined with "bevacizumab", "cetuximab", "crizotinib", "erlotinib", "gefitinib", "ipilimumab", "lapatinib", "sorafenib", "sunitinib", "trastuzumab", "vemurafenib", "PLX4032", "panitumumab", "nivolumab", "pembrolizumab", "alectinib", "ceritinib", "dabrafenib", "trametinib", "BRAF", "TKI", "MEK", "PD1", "EGFR", "CTLA-4" or "ALK". Studies performing SRT during or within 30days of targeted/immunotherapy, reporting severe (⩾Grade 3) toxicity were included.
RESULTS: Concurrent treatment is mostly well tolerated in cranial SRT, but high rates of severe toxicity were observed for the combination with BRAF-inhibitors. The relatively scarce literature on extra-cranial SRT shows a potential risk of increased toxicity when SRT is combined with EGFR-targeting tyrosine kinase inhibitors and bevacizumab, which was not observed for cranial SRT.
CONCLUSIONS: This review gives a best-possible overview of current knowledge and its limitations and underlines the need for a timely generation of stronger evidence in this rapidly expanding field.

Volckmar AL, Endris V, Bozorgmehr F, et al.
Next-generation sequencing facilitates detection of the classic E13-A20 EML4-ALK fusion in an ALK-FISH/IHC inconclusive biopsy of a stage IV lung cancer patient: a case report.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11(1):133 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inhibition of the oncogenic fusion-gene EML4-ALK is a current first-line approach for patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. While FISH was established as the gold standard for identifying these patients, there is accumulating evidence that other methods of detection, i.e., immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing (NGS), exist that may be equally successful. However, the concordance of these methods is under investigation.
CASE PRESENTATION: Adding to the current literature, we here report a 56 year old female never-smoker with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma whose biopsy was IHC and FISH inconclusive but positive in NGS. Retroactive profiling of the resection specimen corroborated fusion reads obtained by NGS, FISH-positivity and showed weak ALK-positivity by IHC. Consequently, we diagnosed the case as ALK-positive rendering the patient eligible to crizotinib treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: With IHC on biopsy material only, this case would have been overlooked withholding effective therapy.

Nakajima M, Uchiyama N, Shigemasa R, et al.
Atypical Carcinoid Tumor with Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) Rearrangement Successfully Treated by an ALK Inhibitor.
Intern Med. 2016; 55(21):3151-3153 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This is the first report in which crizotinib, an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, reduced an atypical carcinoid tumor with ALK rearrangement. A 70-year-old man developed a tumor in the left lung and multiple metastases to the lung and brain. The pathology of transbronchial biopsied specimens demonstrated an atypical carcinoid pattern. Combined with immunohistochemical findings, we diagnosed the tumor as atypical carcinoid. ALK gene rearrangement was observed by both immunohistochemical (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization. He was treated with chemotherapy as first-line therapy, however, the tumor did not respond to chemotherapy. Thereafter, he was treated with crizotinib, which successfully reduced the tumors.

Zhong E, Huang H
Crizotinib in ROS1 rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), from response to resistance.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
We examined an immediate, but short-lived, response to crizotinib, a drug with a new indication for ROS1 rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a middle-aged non-smoker. The patient presented with metastatic NSCLC and extensive disease in multiple organs. He was treated with crizotinib 250 mg twice a day. Within 2-3 days, his condition rapidly improved, which was evident in a CT scan 2 months later. However, after 3 months of treatment, his condition deteriorated dramatically. The patient did not respond to ceritinib, a second-line drug that targets anaplastic lymphoma kinase, and died shortly after. This case demonstrated an impressive but brief response to crizotinib.

Facchinetti F, Caramella C, Auger N, et al.
Crizotinib primary resistance overcome by ceritinib in a patient with ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer.
Tumori. 2016; 102(Suppl. 2) [PubMed] Related Publications
We report on the case of a patient affected by advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement who did not respond to crizotinib but subsequently benefited from treatment with ceritinib (LDK378). Although second-generation ALK inhibitors have shown activity in patients pretreated with crizotinib who experienced secondary resistance, this is the first report to date describing their efficacy in a case of primary resistance. Of note, none of the previously described molecular mechanisms explaining resistance to crizotinib was detected on either the initial or post-crizotinib biopsies. We hypothesize that crizotinib was powerless in controlling disease progression due to its inadequate inhibition of ALK signaling. Although we lack any molecular evidence elucidating the primary crizotinib resistance, we believe that ceritinib treatment led to tumor regression thanks to its superior biological potency.

Bubendorf L, Büttner R, Al-Dayel F, et al.
Testing for ROS1 in non-small cell lung cancer: a review with recommendations.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(5):489-503 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rearrangements of the ROS1 gene occur in 1-2 % of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Crizotinib, a highly effective inhibitor of ROS1 kinase activity, is now FDA-approved for the treatment of patients with advanced ROS1-positive NSCLC. Consequently, focus on ROS1 testing is growing. Most laboratories currently rely on fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) assays using a dual-colour break-apart probe to detect ROS1 rearrangements. Given the rarity of these rearrangements in NSCLC, detection of elevated ROS1 protein levels by immunohistochemistry may provide cost-effective screening prior to confirmatory FISH testing. Non-in situ testing approaches also hold potential as stand-alone methods or complementary tests, including multiplex real-time PCR assays and next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms which include commercial test kits covering a range of fusion genes. In order to ensure high-quality biomarker testing, appropriate tissue handling, adequate control materials and participation in external quality assessment programmes are essential, irrespective of the testing technique employed. ROS1 testing is often only considered after negative tests for EGFR mutation and ALK gene rearrangement, based on the assumption that these oncogenic driver events tend to be exclusive. However, as the use of ROS1 inhibitors becomes routine, accurate and timely detection of ROS1 gene rearrangements will be critical for the optimal treatment of patients with NSCLC. As NGS techniques are introduced into routine diagnostic practice, ROS1 fusion gene testing will be provided as part of the initial testing package.

Avrillon V, Pérol M
Alectinib for treatment of ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.
Future Oncol. 2017; 13(4):321-335 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alectinib is a highly selective second-generation ALK inhibitor that is active against most crizotinib ALK resistance mutations, with a good penetration in CNS and a good safety profile. Thanks to the positive results of Phase II trials, alectinib was approved in Japan and by the US FDA for ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients pretreated with crizotinib. Recently, the Phase III J-ALEX study demonstrated superiority of alectinib over crizotinib in crizotinib naive ALK-positive NSCLC, with an impressive improvement of progression-free survival. From the results and those expected of Phase III ALEX study, alectinib might become the frontline treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC. This article summarizes the therapeutic options in ALK-positive advanced NSCLC, and the chemical, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and clinical efficacy of alectinib.

Subbiah V, Holmes O, Gowen K, et al.
Activity of c-Met/ALK Inhibitor Crizotinib and Multi-Kinase VEGF Inhibitor Pazopanib in Metastatic Gastrointestinal Neuroectodermal Tumor Harboring EWSR1-CREB1 Fusion.
Oncology. 2016; 91(6):348-353 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
Malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (GNET) is an aggressive rare tumor, primarily occurring in young adults with frequent local-regional metastases and recurrence after local control. The tumor is characterized by the presence of EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 and immunohistochemical positivity for S-100 protein without melanocytic marker positivity. Due to poor responses to standard sarcoma regimens, GNET has a poor prognosis, and development of effective systemic therapy is desperately needed to treat these patients. Herein, we present a patient with a small bowel GNET who experienced recurrent hepatic and skeletal metastases after a primary resection. Comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in the course of clinical care with DNA and RNA sequencing demonstrated the presence of an exon 7 to exon 6 EWSR1-CREB1 fusion in the context of a diploid genome with no other genomic alterations. In a clinical trial, the patient received a combination of 250 mg crizotinib with 600 mg pazopanib quaque die and achieved partial response and durable clinical benefit for over 2.8 years, and with minimal toxicity from therapy. Using a CGP database of over 50,000 samples, we identified 11 additional cases that harbor EWSR1-CREB1 and report clinicopathologic characteristics, as these patients may also benefit from such a regimen.

Dejust S, Morland D, Fabre G, et al.
18F-FDG PET/CT Evaluation of Ceritinib Therapy in Metastatic ALK-Positive Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.
Clin Nucl Med. 2016; 41(11):879-880 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) account for 3% to 7% of all NSCLC and require a standard treatment by crizotinib. However, crizotinib resistance is frequent within the first 12 months of treatment. Ceritinib is a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor of ALK recently introduced in France for metastatic or locally advanced crizotinib-resistant ALK NSCLC. We report the first use of ceritinib in our institution with a spectacular tumoral response after only 3 months of treatment. This case demonstrates the major role of F-FDG PET/CT for monitoring the effectiveness of this new treatment.

Caccese M, Ferrara R, Pilotto S, et al.
Current and developing therapies for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer with ALK abnormalities: update and perspectives for clinical practice.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2016; 17(17):2253-2266 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The treatment of patients with ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer was completely revolutionized by the introduction of Crizotinib, a small molecule inhibiting ALK, MET and ROS1. Given that resistance occurs within approximately 12 months, in order to develop more potent inhibitors and to increase drug penetration to CNS, innovative ALK-inhibitors were developed. Second-generation ALK inhibitors Ceritinib (LDK378), Alectinib (CH5424802/RO5424802) and Brigatinib (AP26113) have shown significant clinical activity, and were rapidly approved by regulatory agencies. In addition, early clinical data demonstrated that 3(rd) generation ALK-inhibitors Lorlatinib (PF-06463922), Entrectinib (RxDx-101) and Ensartinib (X-398) provided promising advantages in terms of both clinical activity and safety. Areas covered: In this review, the efficacy and tolerability of Crizotinib for 1(st) and 2(nd)-line treatment, and the clinical and preclinical data that led to the development of innovative second and third generation ALK-inhibitors are described. Expert opinion: The better characterization of the mechanisms of resistance to Crizotinib led to the development of newest drugs, which are active both after Crizotinib failure and in patients naïve from ALK-inhibitors. Tumor characterization at disease progression will allow to further personalize the treatment by establishing optimal sequences, which represent tough challenges for the future research in this field of cancer treatment.

Hida T, Nakagawa K, Seto T, et al.
Pharmacologic study (JP28927) of alectinib in Japanese patients with ALK+ non-small-cell lung cancer with or without prior crizotinib therapy.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(11):1642-1646 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
We report pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety data for a new 150-mg alectinib capsule in ALK+ non-small-cell lung cancer in a multicenter, open-label pharmacologic study (JP28927). Eligible patients (≥20 years, locally advanced/metastatic ALK+ disease, ALK inhibitor-naïve and -pretreated [including crizotinib refractory]) were randomized 1:1 to receive one of two sequences of alectinib 300 mg twice daily (comprising different schedules of 20/40-mg and 150-mg capsules) until investigator-determined lack of clinical benefit. Co-primary endpoints were: bioequivalence of alectinib 20/40 mg vs 150 mg; food effect with 150 mg; and safety. Thirty-five patients were enrolled; median treatment duration was 13.1 months (range 1.1-15.0). Under fasting conditions, exposure of the two formulations was similar; mean AUClast  ± standard deviation 3230 ± 914 h·ng/mL vs 3710 ± 1040 h·ng/mL, respectively, for 150-mg vs 20/40-mg capsules. Food effect with 150 mg alectinib was negligible. Treatment-related adverse events in >20% of patients were constipation (31.4%), dysgeusia (25.7%), and decreased white blood cell and neutrophil count (22.9% each). No treatment-related grade 4/5 events occurred. Median time to response was 1.2 months (95% CI 1.1-2.1). For the full analysis set (n = 35) and crizotinib-failure subpopulations (n = 23), the overall response rate was 70.0% (95% CI 50.6-85.3) and 65.0% (95% CI 40.8-84.6), and median progression-free survival was 13.9 months (95% CI 11.1-not reached) and 12.9 months (95% CI 3.9-not reached), respectively. The 150-mg capsule had a similar exposure profile to 20/40-mg capsules. Alectinib demonstrated promising efficacy and was well tolerated.

Bal A, Singh N, Agarwal P, et al.
ALK gene rearranged lung adenocarcinomas: molecular genetics and morphology in cohort of patients from North India.
APMIS. 2016; 124(10):832-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
ALK gene rearrangement in the lung adenocarcinomas is the second most common (1.6-11.7% of NSCLC) targetable genomic change after EGFR mutations. However, the prevalence and clinicopathological features of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas from North India are lacking. A total of 240 cases of lung adenocarcinoma were screened for EGFR mutations and for ALK expression. Smoking status, TNM stage, and treatment response were recorded in all cases. Out of 240 cases screened, 37 cases were positive for EGFR mutations and 17 cases (7.08%) showed ALK positivity with immunohistochemistry and break-apart FISH. On excluding 37 EGFR mutation-positive cases, the incidence of ALK-positive adenocarcinoma appears to be higher (17/203 cases, 8.03%). Eight were men and nine were women with mean age of 51.7 years. Majority (62.5%) were non-smokers and had unresectable disease (70.6% stage IV, 17.6% IIIB). The morphological patterns noted were solid (12 cases), papillary (four cases), and micropapillary (one case). Signet ring (two cases) and clear cell change (one cases) were noted. Out of five patients who received crizotinib, three had partial response and two had stable disease. ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinomas account for a minor proportion of NSCLC with prevalence similar to that reported in literature. However, as contrast to published data in our series, patients were in older age group and had solid and papillary pattern on morphology with an aggressive course.

Savic S, Bubendorf L
Common Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Applications in Cytology.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(12):1323-1330 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: - Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a well-established method for detection of genomic aberrations in diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive marker testing.
OBJECTIVE: - To review common applications of FISH in cytology.
DATA SOURCES: - The published literature was reviewed.
CONCLUSIONS: - Cytology is particularly well suited for all kinds of FISH applications, which is highlighted in respiratory tract cytology with an increasing demand for predictive FISH testing in lung cancer. Fluorescence in situ hybridization is the gold standard for detection of predictive anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK) rearrangements, and the same evaluation criteria as in histology apply to cytology. Several other gene rearrangements, including ROS proto-oncogene 1 receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1), are becoming clinically important and share the same underlining cytogenetic mechanisms with ALK. MET amplification is one of the most common mechanisms of acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors and can be targeted by crizotinib. As genomic aberrations are a hallmark of malignant cells, FISH is a valuable objective ancillary diagnostic tool. In urinary tract cytology, atypical urothelial cells equivocal for malignancy are a common diagnostic dilemma and multitarget FISH can help clarify such cells. Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma remains one of the most challenging fields in effusion cytology, and ancillary FISH is useful in establishing the diagnosis. Fluorescence in situ hybridization is a morphology-based technique, and the prerequisite for reliable FISH results is a targeted evaluation of the cells in question (eg, cancer or atypical cells). Cytopathologists and cytotechnicians should therefore be involved in molecular testing in order to select the best material and to provide their morphologic expertise.

Wang W, Wu W, Zhang Y
Response to crizotinib in a lung adenocarcinoma patient harboring EML4-ALK translocation with adnexal metastasis: A Case Report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(30):e4221 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer with ovarian metastasis or adnexal metastasis harboring anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene translocation is rare. Crizotinib, a novel ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has already shown an impressive single-agent activity in ALK positive lung cancer.
METHODS: To summarize the case of clinical data and treatment of a 33-year-old woman with pelvic adnexal metastasis NSCLC.
RESULTS: Histological examination of the tumors showed lung adenocarcinoma. The right lung biopsy tissue and left adnexal mass biopsy tissue both revealed the presence of an ALK rearrangement by Ventana (D5F3) ALK immunohistochemistry assay (Ventana Medical Systems, Roche, Inc., Tuscon, AZ). The patient experienced a remarkable tumor response to crizotinib treatment.
CONCLUSION: Although the adnexal location is an uncommon metastasis site from lung cancer, oncologists should be aware of the possibility of such metastasis for female patients with ALK rearrangement NSCLC. Considering this remarkable response, we conclude that the presence of adnexal metastasis in NSCLC patients with ALK rearrangement should be attentive.

Zhang YC, Zhou Q, Wu YL
Efficacy of crizotinib in first-line treatment of adults with ALK-positive advanced NSCLC.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2016; 17(12):1693-701 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has evolved from palliative cytotoxic chemotherapy to precise medicine based on genetic alternations over the last decade. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement characterizes a molecular subset of NSCLC with an impressive response to crizotinib.
AREAS COVERED: To analyze the efficacy of crizotinib in first-line treatment of adults with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC, updated data on development and recent advances of first-line crizotinib in this subset population are reviewed.
EXPERT OPINION: To date, crizotinib should be established as a standard of care in previously untreated advanced NSCLC with ALK-rearrangement. However, the efficacy of first-line crizotinib is limited by acquired resistance. Second generation ALK inhibitors have demonstrated clinical activity in both crizotinib-refractory and crizotinib naïve setting. How to maximize first-line benefit for advanced ALK-positive NSCLC remains challenging. Combinational strategy, advances in companion diagnostics and optimization of ALK inhibitors might contribute to improve outcome in this subset of patients in future.

Tasaki T, Fujita M, Okuda T, et al.
MET Expressed in Glioma Stem Cells Is a Potent Therapeutic Target for Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(7):3571-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and the most malignant tumor among adult brain tumors. Previous reports led us to hypothesize that the proto-oncogene mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) expressed in glioma stem cell-like cells (GSCs) would be a potent therapeutic target for GBM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: To address this question, we analyzed 113 original samples of tumors from patients based on immunohistochemistry. During this process, we were able to establish GSC lines from patients with GBM that were MET-positive and MET-negative. Using these cells, we tested the therapeutic impact of a MET inhibitor, crizotinib, both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Patients with MET-positive GBM exhibited poor survival. GSC-based experiments revealed that treatment with crizotinib, both in vitro and in vivo, exhibited therapeutic efficacy particularly against MET-positive GSCs.
CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, we conclude that MET expressed in GSCs might be a potent therapeutic target for GBM.

Heinig K, Miya K, Kamei T, et al.
Bioanalysis of alectinib and metabolite M4 in human plasma, cross-validation and impact on PK assessment.
Bioanalysis. 2016; 8(14):1465-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Alectinib is a novel anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor for treatment of patients with ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. To support clinical development, concentrations of alectinib and metabolite M4 were determined in plasma from patients and healthy subjects.
METHODS: LC-MS/MS methods were developed and validated in two different laboratories: Chugai used separate assays for alectinib and M4 in a pivotal Phase I/II study while Roche established a simultaneous assay for both analytes for another pivotal study and all other studies.
CONCLUSION: Cross-validation assessment revealed a bias between the two bioanalytical laboratories, which was confirmed with the clinical PK data between both pivotal studies using the different bioanalytical methods.

Fujiwara Y, Hamada A, Mizugaki H, et al.
Pharmacokinetic profiles of significant adverse events with crizotinib in Japanese patients with ABCB1 polymorphism.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(8):1117-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
Crizotinib is a standard treatment for advanced ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We undertook this study to investigate the pharmacokinetics of crizotinib and clinical and pharmacogenomic factors that may increase the risk of adverse events (AEs). We defined clinically significant AEs as grade 4 hematological toxicity, grade ≥3 non-hematological toxicity, and any grade of interstitial lung disease. Eight subjects with ALK-positive NSCLC scheduled to receive crizotinib 250 mg twice daily were studied. Six patients were female and two were male, and most of the patients had low body weight with a median body weight of 46.8 kg (range, 42.4-61.0 kg). All patients developed AEs, five developing six clinically significant AEs. Six patients required dose reduction. In pharmacokinetic analysis, blood samples were obtained on days 1 and 15. The mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0-12 h (AUC0-12 ) on day 15 was significantly increased in patients with clinically significant AEs (n = 5) compared with those without (n = 3) (P = 0.04). Genetic polymorphisms of ABCB1 were analyzed. One patient with the ABCB1 1236TT-2677TT-3435TT genotype was an outlier, with an AUC0-12 and peak concentrations on day 15 of 2.84× and 2.61× the mean, respectively, compared with those with other genotypes. Our results suggest that some Japanese NSCLC patients treated with crizotinib developed clinically significant toxicities that were related to altered pharmacokinetics parameters due to genotype and body weight factors.

Incharoen P, Reungwetwattana T, Saowapa S, et al.
ALK-rearranged pulmonary adenocarcinoma in Thai Patients: From diagnosis to treatment efficacy.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:139 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement is detected in 3% to 13% of non-small cell lung carcinoma patients, and these patients benefit from ALK inhibitors. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, the clinical and histological characteristics and the treatment outcomes of ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinoma using immunohistochemistry (IHC) IHC, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) methodologies.
METHODS: A total of 268 pulmonary adenocarcinoma patients were screened for ALK expression by ALK IHC, which was confirmed by FISH and/or RT-PCR for ALK gene rearrangement. The treatment outcomes of ALK-rearranged patients were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: ALK gene rearrangement was identified in 26 cases (9.7%) with no EGFR co-mutation, and it showed significant associations with younger age, female sex and non-smoker status (p < 0.05). A cribriform growth pattern was identified as the dominant histologic feature, and a solid signet ring cell component was focally present in a minority of the cases. Among 12 ALK-rearranged patients with conventional treatment, seven cases in the early stage of disease were cured and alive, and five patients in the late stage of the disease progressed and died, with a median overall survival (OS) at 14 months. Of the 14 patients receiving crizotinib, all of them had clinical benefit from crizotinib treatment, with one patient having a complete response (CR), 12 patients having a partial response (PR) and one patient having stable disease (SD). On the cutoff date, six of 14 patients were continuing crizotinib treatment with a median time of response of 7.5 (3-13) months, while eight patients had disease progression, and five of them died with a median OS at 8 months.
CONCLUSION: ALK gene rearrangement tended to occur in younger, non-smoking, female patients. ALK IHC is a reliable screening method to detect ALK gene rearrangement. Crizotinib therapy provided treatment benefit in ALK-rearranged adenocarcinoma patients especially in advanced stages of the disease.

Stein J, Mann J
Specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving oral medications for solid tumors.
Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2016; 73(11):775-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Currently available oral oncology therapies are reviewed, and specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving these drugs are described.
SUMMARY: Market introductions of new oral oncology drugs have increased substantially over the past decade, and 25-30% of all oncology agents in development are oral medications. Oral agents for treatment of breast cancer include capecitabine, lafatinib, and palbociclib. Several oral agents are used in treating patients with lung cancer driven by mutations of genes coding for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); currently available agents include the ALK inhibitors certinib and crizotinib and the EGFR inhibitors afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib. Four oral targeted therapies are used in the treatment of melanoma associated with the B-Raf proto-oncogene, BRAF: cobimetinib, dabrafenib, trametinib, and vemurafenib. Oral agents for treatment of prostate cancer include abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide. Oral agents for treatment of renal cell carcinoma include axitinib, everolimus, pazopanib, sorafenib, and sunitinib. Specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving oral oncology agents can include (1) providing patient counseling and education on adverse effects and self-management strategies, (2) processing prior-authorization requests and helping patients navigate copayment assistance programs, and (3) monitoring for medication toxicities and recommending dose adjustments as appropriate.
CONCLUSION: Many oral oncology medications have been introduced over the past 10-15 years, with many others in clinical development. Due to the complexity of initiating and monitoring patients receiving these oral therapies, specialty pharmacy services are an essential component of many patients' cancer care.

Miyazaki R, Anayama T, Hirohashi K, et al.
In Vitro Drug Sensitivity Tests to Predict Molecular Target Drug Responses in Surgically Resected Lung Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0152665 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors have dramatically changed the strategy of medical treatment of lung cancer. Patients should be screened for the presence of the EGFR mutation or echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4)-ALK fusion gene prior to chemotherapy to predict their clinical response. The succinate dehydrogenase inhibition (SDI) test and collagen gel droplet embedded culture drug sensitivity test (CD-DST) are established in vitro drug sensitivity tests, which may predict the sensitivity of patients to cytotoxic anticancer drugs. We applied in vitro drug sensitivity tests for cyclopedic prediction of clinical responses to different molecular targeting drugs.
METHODS: The growth inhibitory effects of erlotinib and crizotinib were confirmed for lung cancer cell lines using SDI and CD-DST. The sensitivity of 35 cases of surgically resected lung cancer to erlotinib was examined using SDI or CD-DST, and compared with EGFR mutation status.
RESULTS: HCC827 (Exon19: E746-A750 del) and H3122 (EML4-ALK) cells were inhibited by lower concentrations of erlotinib and crizotinib, respectively than A549, H460, and H1975 (L858R+T790M) cells were. The viability of the surgically resected lung cancer was 60.0 ± 9.8 and 86.8 ± 13.9% in EGFR-mutants vs. wild types in the SDI (p = 0.0003). The cell viability was 33.5 ± 21.2 and 79.0 ± 18.6% in EGFR mutants vs. wild-type cases (p = 0.026) in CD-DST.
CONCLUSIONS: In vitro drug sensitivity evaluated by either SDI or CD-DST correlated with EGFR gene status. Therefore, SDI and CD-DST may be useful predictors of potential clinical responses to the molecular anticancer drugs, cyclopedically.

Saber A, van der Wekken AJ, Kok K, et al.
Genomic Aberrations in Crizotinib Resistant Lung Adenocarcinoma Samples Identified by Transcriptome Sequencing.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153065 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
ALK-break positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients initially respond to crizotinib, but resistance occurs inevitably. In this study we aimed to identify fusion genes in crizotinib resistant tumor samples. Re-biopsies of three patients were subjected to paired-end RNA sequencing to identify fusion genes using deFuse and EricScript. The IGV browser was used to determine presence of known resistance-associated mutations. Sanger sequencing was used to validate fusion genes and digital droplet PCR to validate mutations. ALK fusion genes were detected in all three patients with EML4 being the fusion partner. One patient had no additional fusion genes. Another patient had one additional fusion gene, but without a predicted open reading frame (ORF). The third patient had three additional fusion genes, of which two were derived from the same chromosomal region as the EML4-ALK. A predicted ORF was identified only in the CLIP4-VSNL1 fusion product. The fusion genes validated in the post-treatment sample were also present in the biopsy before crizotinib. ALK mutations (p.C1156Y and p.G1269A) detected in the re-biopsies of two patients, were not detected in pre-treatment biopsies. In conclusion, fusion genes identified in our study are unlikely to be involved in crizotinib resistance based on presence in pre-treatment biopsies. The detection of ALK mutations in post-treatment tumor samples of two patients underlines their role in crizotinib resistance.

Ju L, Han M, Zhao C, Li X
EGFR, KRAS and ROS1 variants coexist in a lung adenocarcinoma patient.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 95:94-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The c-ros oncogene 1 (ROS1) fusion is almost mutually exclusive to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) or Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and it is not seen in the literature for patients to exhibit three mutations. The present study reported a case of a 53-year-old male diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, exhibiting combined EGFR, KRAS mutations and ROS1 rearrangement. At the first line therapy, the patient was treated with crizotinib because of the KRAS mutation that is a known resistant factor of EGFR-TKI resistance, but no responsive. At the second line therapy, EGFR-TKI Icotinib revealed a good response until now. To the best of to our knowledge, this is the first case report of a patient with concurrent EGFR, KRAS mutations and ROS1 fusion. This patient had an excellent response to Icotinib but not crizotinib, suggesting that the EGFR mutation was the oncogenic driver but ROS1 fusion and KRAS mutation not.

Sassier M, Mennecier B, Gschwend A, et al.
Successful treatment with ceritinib after crizotinib induced hepatitis.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 95:15-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report two cases of acute hepatitis induced by crizotinib in patients with ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated after by a second generation of ALK inhibitor without any incident. These cases suggest that ceritinib could be used as an alternative agent when crizotinib is responsible for hepatitis.

Losanno T, Gridelli C
Safety profiles of first-line therapies for metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer.
Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2016; 15(6):837-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer still represents the leading cause of death for cancer. About the 70% of diagnosis are in advanced-stage. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents the 85% of all diagnosed lung cancers and non-squamous histology represents the 40% of all NSCLC. First-line therapies increase survival, control symptoms and improve quality of life, compared with best supportive care. It is crucial to choose a treatment with a low impact on patient's life considering the related toxicities.
AREAS COVERED: Adverse events (AEs) of first-line therapies for non-squamous NSCLC are here reviewed and discussed, from evidences in clinical trials conducting to drugs approval.
EXPERT OPINION: For advanced disease, palliation and preserving patients QoL are still the primary goal of treatment. Therefore, differing toxicity profiles are often a deciding factor in first-line and also maintenance setting for non-squamous NSCLC. Special attention is necessary to renal function and drugs' nephrotoxicity. Moreover, it is to consider the specific AEs of drugs classes: hypertension, bleeding, and proteinuria, for anti-VEGF therapy; skin toxicity, diarrhea, interstitial lung disease for TKIs; vision disorders, and hepatotoxicity for ALK-inhibitor. It is important to select patients for a treatment on the basis of their comorbidities and the presence of risk factors.

Menichincheri M, Ardini E, Magnaghi P, et al.
Discovery of Entrectinib: A New 3-Aminoindazole As a Potent Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK), c-ros Oncogene 1 Kinase (ROS1), and Pan-Tropomyosin Receptor Kinases (Pan-TRKs) inhibitor.
J Med Chem. 2016; 59(7):3392-408 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase responsible for the development of different tumor types. Despite the remarkable clinical activity of crizotinib (Xalkori), the first ALK inhibitor approved in 2011, the emergence of resistance mutations and of brain metastases frequently causes relapse in patients. Within our ALK drug discovery program, we identified compound 1, a novel 3-aminoindazole active on ALK in biochemical and in cellular assays. Its optimization led to compound 2 (entrectinib), a potent orally available ALK inhibitor active on ALK-dependent cell lines, efficiently penetrant the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in different animal species and highly efficacious in in vivo xenograft models. Moreover, entrectinib resulted to be strictly potent on the closely related tyrosine kinases ROS1 and TRKs recently found constitutively activated in several tumor types. Entrectinib is currently undergoing phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of patients affected by ALK-, ROS1-, and TRK-positive tumors.

Lung J, Lin YC, Hung MS, et al.
A sensitive and high throughput TaqMan-based reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay efficiently discriminates ALK rearrangement from overexpression for lung cancer FFPE specimens.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 94:114-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: ALK fusion gene is an oncogenic driver in lung cancer with low prevalence, which can be ameliorated by crizotinib. Currently, ALK fusion gene can be diagnosed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), but inconstistnt results between the two methods are encountered regularly. To make the ALK fusion gene screening more efficient and to provide a simple solution to clarify the discrepancy between FISH and IHC results, a sensitive TaqMan-based reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay was established.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The 3-plex TaqMan-based RT-qPCR assay was established and performed on 102 archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) NSCLC samples to detect ALK rearrangement and overexpression. Break-apart FISH and automatic immunohistochemistry based ALK assays were performed side by side using tissue microarray.
RESULTS: The RT-qPCR was performed successfully for 80 samples and 10 of them showed positive signals. Three out of the 10 qPCR positive cases were further confirmed by FISH and IHC test. Two others were IHC positive and FISH negative, and expressed full-length ALK transcript. The rest were neither FISH nor IHC positive and their ALK expression level was significantly lower than those FISH or IHC positive cases.
CONCLUSION: Our RT-qPCR assay demonstrates that the capability and reliability of ALK detection is comparable to FISH and IHC, but it is more effective at discriminating ALK rearrangement from overexpression. The RT-qPCR assay easily clarifies the discrepancy between FISH and IHC, and can be incorporated into routine ALK screening for lung cancer.

Wang Y, Liu Y, Zhao C, et al.
Feasibility of cytological specimens for ALK fusion detection in patients with advanced NSCLC using the method of RT-PCR.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 94:28-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Histological tissues are preferred for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion detection in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of cytological sample as an alternative specimen for ALK fusion testing in patients with advanced NSCLC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Advanced NSCLC patients with cytological specimens or tumor tissue who had their ALK fusion status detected by the method of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University were included into this study. The efficacy was evaluated in those with ALK fusion positive and received the therapy of crizotinib.
RESULTS: 1274 patients were included in this study. Among them, 108 patients were ALK RT-PCR positive and 69 of them received crizotinib treatment. Among 1002 patients with cytological specimens, the average concentration of RNA extracted from cytological specimens was 60.99 ng/μl (95% confidence interval [CI], 55.56-66.60) and the incidence rate of ALK fusion was 8.3% (83/1002), which were similar to 63.16 ng/μl (95% CI, 51.88-76.34) (p=0.727) and 9.2% (25/272, p=0.624) in 272 patients with tumor tissue. Also, there were no statistically significant differences regarding to the objective response rate (ORR) (62.0% vs. 42.1%, p=0.177) and the median progression free survival (mPFS) [8.6 months (95% CI 7.30-9.84) vs. 7.0 months (95% CI 4.54-9.47), p=0.736] in patients of cytological group and tissue group after the treatment of crizotinib.
CONCLUSION: Cytological specimens showed a high feasibility to detect ALK fusion status, which could be regarded as alternative samples for ALK fusion detection by the method of RT-PCR in patients with advanced NSCLC.

Zhao W, Choi YL, Song JY, et al.
ALK, ROS1 and RET rearrangements in lung squamous cell carcinoma are very rare.
Lung Cancer. 2016; 94:22-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Chromosomal rearrangements of ALK and ROS1 genes in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) define a molecular subgroup of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) that is amenable to targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) crizotinib. Emerging clinical studies have demonstrated that patients with RET-rearranged NSCLC may also benefit from existing RET TKIs, including cabozantinib and vandetanib. However, the reported cases of lung squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) harboring gene rearrangements have been detected via fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or immunohistochemistry (IHC) from materials such as biopsy or resection. Fusion events identified in lung SCC raise the question of whether this histologic subtype should also be evaluated for merit molecular testing. This work was undertaken to study the prevalence of lung SCC harboring ALK, ROS1, and RET translocations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Squamous cell carcinomas were confirmed using both histological examination by pathologists and immunohistochemistry analysis with positive staining of P63 and CK5/6 combined with negative CK7 and TTF-1 staining. 214 samples from surgically resected patient tissues were used to search for ALK, ROS1, and RET rearrangements by a NanoString analysis method. Fusion events were detected in a single-tube, multiplex assay system that relied on a complementary strategy of interrogation of 3' gene overexpression and detection of specific fusion transcript variants.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: ALK, ROS1 or RET gene rearrangements appeared 0 times out of 214 cases of lung SCC. Our data revealed that these fusions may be very rare in lung squamous cancer. The molecular screening strategy should therefore be focused on lung adenocarcinoma as the current National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline recommends.

Li T, LoRusso P, Maitland ML, et al.
First-in-human, open-label dose-escalation and dose-expansion study of the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor effects of an oral ALK inhibitor ASP3026 in patients with advanced solid tumors.
J Hematol Oncol. 2016; 9:23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ASP3026 is a second-generation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor that has potent in vitro activity against crizotinib-resistant ALK-positive tumors. This open-label, multicenter, first-in-human phase I study ( NCT01284192 ) assessed the safety, pharmacokinetic profile, and antitumor activity of ASP3026.
METHODS: Advanced solid tumor patients received oral ASP3026 in 3 + 3 dose-escalation cohorts at doses of 25-800 mg once daily in 28-day cycles. The endpoints were to identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), the recommended phase II dose (RP2D), and the pharmacokinetic profile of ASP3026. A phase Ib expansion cohort enrolled patients with metastatic, crizotinib-resistant ALK-positive solid tumors at the RP2D, and response was evaluated by RECIST 1.1.
RESULTS: The dose-escalation cohort enrolled 33 patients, including three crizotinib-resistant, ALK-positive patients, and the dose-expansion cohort enrolled another 13 crizotinib-resistant, ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. ASP3026 demonstrated both linear pharmacokinetics and dose-proportional exposure for area under the plasma concentration-time curve and maximum concentration observed with a median terminal half-life of 35 h, supporting the daily dosing. Grade 3 rash and elevated transaminase concentrations were dose-limiting toxicities observed at 800 mg; hence, 525 mg daily was the MTD and RP2D. The most common treatment-related adverse events were nausea (38%), fatigue (35%), and vomiting (35 %). Among the 16 patients with crizotinib-resistant ALK-positive tumors (15 NSCLC, 1 neuroblastoma), eight patients achieved partial response (overall response rate 50%; 95% confidence interval 25-75%) and seven patients (44%) achieved stable disease.
CONCLUSIONS: ASP3026 was well tolerated and had therapeutic activity in patients with crizotinib-resistant ALK-positive advanced tumors.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinTrials.gov: NCT01284192.

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