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      Alectinib versus Crizotinib in Untreated ALK-Positive Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

      New England Journal of Medicine

      New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM/MMS)

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          First-line crizotinib versus chemotherapy in ALK-positive lung cancer.

          The efficacy of the ALK inhibitor crizotinib as compared with standard chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is unknown. We conducted an open-label, phase 3 trial comparing crizotinib with chemotherapy in 343 patients with advanced ALK-positive nonsquamous NSCLC who had received no previous systemic treatment for advanced disease. Patients were randomly assigned to receive oral crizotinib at a dose of 250 mg twice daily or to receive intravenous chemotherapy (pemetrexed, 500 mg per square meter of body-surface area, plus either cisplatin, 75 mg per square meter, or carboplatin, target area under the curve of 5 to 6 mg per milliliter per minute) every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. Crossover to crizotinib treatment after disease progression was permitted for patients receiving chemotherapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival as assessed by independent radiologic review. Progression-free survival was significantly longer with crizotinib than with chemotherapy (median, 10.9 months vs. 7.0 months; hazard ratio for progression or death with crizotinib, 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.60; P<0.001). Objective response rates were 74% and 45%, respectively (P<0.001). Median overall survival was not reached in either group (hazard ratio for death with crizotinib, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.54 to 1.26; P=0.36); the probability of 1-year survival was 84% with crizotinib and 79% with chemotherapy. The most common adverse events with crizotinib were vision disorders, diarrhea, nausea, and edema, and the most common events with chemotherapy were nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and decreased appetite. As compared with chemotherapy, crizotinib was associated with greater reduction in lung cancer symptoms and greater improvement in quality of life. Crizotinib was superior to standard first-line pemetrexed-plus-platinum chemotherapy in patients with previously untreated advanced ALK-positive NSCLC. (Funded by Pfizer; PROFILE 1014 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01154140.).
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            Molecular Mechanisms of Resistance to First- and Second-Generation ALK Inhibitors in ALK-Rearranged Lung Cancer.

            Advanced, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive lung cancer is currently treated with the first-generation ALK inhibitor crizotinib followed by more potent, second-generation ALK inhibitors (e.g., ceritinib and alectinib) upon progression. Second-generation inhibitors are generally effective even in the absence of crizotinib-resistant ALK mutations, likely reflecting incomplete inhibition of ALK by crizotinib in many cases. Herein, we analyzed 103 repeat biopsies from ALK-positive patients progressing on various ALK inhibitors. We find that each ALK inhibitor is associated with a distinct spectrum of ALK resistance mutations and that the frequency of one mutation, ALK(G1202R), increases significantly after treatment with second-generation agents. To investigate strategies to overcome resistance to second-generation ALK inhibitors, we examine the activity of the third-generation ALK inhibitor lorlatinib in a series of ceritinib-resistant, patient-derived cell lines, and observe that the presence of ALK resistance mutations is highly predictive for sensitivity to lorlatinib, whereas those cell lines without ALK mutations are resistant.
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              First-line ceritinib versus platinum-based chemotherapy in advanced ALK -rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (ASCEND-4): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 study

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                Journal
                10.1056/NEJMoa1704795

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