INTRODUCTION: Recent clinical trials led to the approval of crizotinib (PF-02341066; Pfizer) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumors are positive for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) alterations. The European Medicines Agency accepted the regulatory submission of crizotinib for the treatment of these patients. Therefore, ALK gene testing has become mandatory to choose the most appropriate therapy. METHODS: To help physicians, involved in the management of NSCLC patients to be treated with ALK inhibitors in Italy, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology and the Italian Society of Pathology and Cytopathology identified a large panel of Italian medical oncologists and pathologists that outlined recommendations for ALK testing in NSCLC patients. RESULTS: The guidelines produced include specific information on the target patient population, the biological material for molecular analysis, a section dedicated to the histocytopathologic diagnosis of NSCLC, and the methods for the assessment of ALK alterations that are summarized in this article. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicopathologic recommendations were produced to guide the management of NSCLC patients who need to be tested for ALK rearrangements before treatment with ALK inhibitors.
- Anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene rearrangements
- Non-small-cell lung cancer
- Targeted therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine