Role of anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibition in the treatment of non-Small-Cell lung cancer

Katie Croegaert, Jill M. Kolesar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose. Published data on the clinical efficacy, safety, dosage and administraation, and costs of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors crizotinib and ceritinib in the treatment of non-small- cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are reviewed and compared. Summary. The ALK protein functions as a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase; rearrangements of the ALK gene are associated with the development of NSCLC with adenocarcinoma histology. Crizotinib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved in 2011 as a first-line therapy for patients with metastatic ALK mutation-driven NSCLC. Significantly improved response rates and progression-free survival (PFS) have been reported with the use of crizotinib therapy versus standard chemotherapy, but mutations conferring resistance to treatment develop in most cases. The second-generation ALK inhibitor ceritinib was approved in 2014 for the treatment of /UK-mutated NSCLC in patients who are intolerant or develop resistance to crizo-tinib. In a clinical trial of ceritinib involving 130 patients with /UK-positive NSCLC, the majority of whom had experienced disease progression during crizotinib use, patients receiving at least 400 mg of ceritinib daily had an overall response rate of 56% and median PFS of seven months. Adverse efafects commonly reported with the use of either drug include visual disturbances, gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., diarrhea), and liver enzyme abnormalities. Conclusion. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors crizotinib and ceritinib provide an effecative treatment approach for patients with ALK-mutated NSCLC. Efficacy data for both crizotinib and ceritinib indicate improved response rates and PFS with the use of either drug as an alternative to standard chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1462
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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