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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 17

of 'Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion oncogene positive non-small cell lung cancer'

17
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EML4-ALK fusion is linked to histological characteristics in a subset of lung cancers.
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Inamura K, Takeuchi K, Togashi Y, Nomura K, Ninomiya H, Okui M, Satoh Y, Okumura S, Nakagawa K, Soda M, Choi YL, Niki T, Mano H, Ishikawa Y
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J Thorac Oncol. 2008;3(1):13.
 
INTRODUCTION: Very recently, we have found a novel fusion product between the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like4 (EML4) and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Tumors featuring EML4-ALK fusion constitute one subtype of NSCLC that might be highly sensitive to ALK inhibitors. Herein, we present results of a first large scale study of EML4-ALK fusion in lung cancers.
METHODS: Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for EML4-ALK fusion mRNA, we investigated 149 lung adenocarcinomas, 48 squamous cell carcinomas, 3 large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, and 21 small-cell carcinomas. For EML4-ALK-positive cancers, we further investigated the presence of ALK fusion proteins by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Five of 149 adenocarcinomas (3.4%) showed EML4-ALK fusion mRNA, this being totally lacking in carcinomas of other types (0/72). In all the fusion-positive cases, ALK fusion protein could be detected in the cytoplasm immunohistochemically. The five fusion cases featured two EML4-ALK variant 1 fusions and three variant 2 fusions. Histologically, both variant 1 cases were mixed type adenocarcinomas, showing papillary with bronchioloalveolar components. Interestingly, all three variant 2 cases were acinar adenocarcinomas, the link being statistically significant (p = 0.00018). None of the five fusion-positive cases demonstrated any mutations of EGFR or KRAS, pointing to a mutually exclusive relationship (p = 0.014). There was no association with smoking habits.
CONCLUSIONS: In the present first investigation of EML4-ALK fusion in a large study of lung cancers (5/221), we found an interesting histotype-genotype relationship. Furthermore, we could detect the fusion protein by immunohistochemistry, pointing to possible clinical applications.
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Department of Pathology, The Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research (JFCR), Tokyo, Japan.
PMID