Medline ® Abstracts for References 13-15
of 'Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion oncogene positive non-small cell lung cancer'
Identification of the transforming EML4-ALK fusion gene in non-small-cell lung cancer.
Soda M, Choi YL, Enomoto M, Takada S, Yamashita Y, Ishikawa S, Fujiwara S, Watanabe H, Kurashina K, Hatanaka H, Bando M, Ohno S, Ishikawa Y, Aburatani H, Niki T, Sohara Y, Sugiyama Y, Mano H
Improvement in the clinical outcome of lung cancer is likely to be achieved by identification of the molecular events that underlie its pathogenesis. Here we show that a small inversion within chromosome 2p results in the formation of a fusion gene comprising portions of the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Mouse 3T3 fibroblasts forced to express this human fusion tyrosine kinase generated transformed foci in culture and subcutaneous tumours in nude mice. The EML4-ALK fusion transcript was detected in 6.7% (5 out of 75) of NSCLC patients examined; these individuals were distinct from those harbouring mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene. Our data demonstrate that a subset of NSCLC patients may express a transforming fusion kinase that is a promising candidate for a therapeutic target as well as for a diagnostic molecular marker in NSCLC.
Division of Functional Genomics, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.
Multiplex reverse transcription-PCR screening for EML4-ALK fusion transcripts.
Takeuchi K, Choi YL, Soda M, Inamura K, Togashi Y, Hatano S, Enomoto M, Takada S, Yamashita Y, Satoh Y, Okumura S, Nakagawa K, Ishikawa Y, Mano H
Clin Cancer Res. 2008;14(20):6618.
PURPOSE: EML4-ALK is a fusion-type protein tyrosine kinase that is generated by inv(2)(p21p23) in the genome of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To allow sensitive detection of EML4-ALK fusion transcripts, we have now developed a multiplex reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) system that captures all in-frame fusions between the two genes.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Primers were designed to detect all possible in-frame fusions of EML4 to exon 20 of ALK, and a single-tube multiplex RT-PCR assay was done with total RNA from 656 solid tumors of the lung (n = 364) and 10 other organs.
RESULTS: From consecutive lung adenocarcinoma cases (n = 253), we identified 11 specimens (4.35%) positive for fusion transcripts, 9 of which were positive for the previously identified variants 1, 2, and 3. The remaining two specimens harbored novel transcript isoforms in which exon 14 (variant 4) or exon 2 (variant 5) of EML4 was connected to exon 20 of ALK. No fusion transcripts were detected for other types of lung cancer (n = 111) or for tumors from 10 other organs (n = 292). Genomicrearrangements responsible for the fusion events in NSCLC cells were confirmed by genomic PCR analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The novel isoforms of EML4-ALK manifested marked oncogenic activity, and they yielded a pattern of cytoplasmic staining with fine granular foci in immunohistochemical analysis of NSCLC specimens.
CONCLUSIONS: These data reinforce the importance of accurate diagnosis of EML4-ALK-positive tumors for the optimization of treatment strategies.
Division of Pathology, The Cancer Institute, Tokyo, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
EML4-ALK fusion gene and efficacy of an ALK kinase inhibitor in lung cancer.
Koivunen JP, Mermel C, Zejnullahu K, Murphy C, Lifshits E, Holmes AJ, Choi HG, Kim J, Chiang D, Thomas R, Lee J, Richards WG, Sugarbaker DJ, Ducko C, Lindeman N, Marcoux JP, Engelman JA, Gray NS, Lee C, Meyerson M, Jänne PA
Clin Cancer Res. 2008;14(13):4275.
PURPOSE: The EML4-ALK fusion gene has been detected in approximately 7% of Japanese non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). We determined the frequency of EML4-ALK in Caucasian NSCLC and in NSCLC cell lines. We also determined whether TAE684, a specific ALK kinase inhibitor, would inhibit the growth of EML4-ALK-containing cell lines in vitro and in vivo.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We screened 305 primary NSCLC [both U.S. (n = 138) and Korean (n = 167) patients]and 83 NSCLC cell lines using reverse transcription-PCR and by exon array analyses. We evaluated the efficacy of TAE684 against NSCLC cell lines in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: We detected four different variants, including two novel variants, of EML4-ALK using reverse transcription-PCR in 8 of 305 tumors (3%) and 3 of 83 (3.6%) NSCLC cell lines. All EML4-ALK-containing tumors and cell lines were adenocarcinomas. EML4-ALK was detected more frequently in NSCLC patients who were never or light (<10 pack-years) cigarette smokers compared with current/former smokers (6% versus 1%; P = 0.049). TAE684 inhibited the growth of one of three (H3122) EML4-ALK-containing cell lines in vitro and in vivo, inhibited Akt phosphorylation, and caused apoptosis. In another EML4-ALK cell line, DFCI032, TAE684 was ineffective due to coactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor and ERBB2. The combination of TAE684 and CL-387,785 (epidermal growth factor receptor/ERBB2 kinase inhibitor) inhibited growth and Akt phosphorylation and led to apoptosis in the DFCI032 cell line.
CONCLUSIONS: EML4-ALK is found in the minority of NSCLC. ALK kinase inhibitors alone or in combination may nevertheless be clinically effective treatments for NSCLC patients whose tumors contain EML4-ALK.
Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, D820A, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.