Dr. Hart on Advances in ALK+ NSCLC

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Lowell L. Hart, MD, scientific director of Research at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, and associate professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, discusses the recent advances in the area of ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer.

Lowell L. Hart, MD, scientific director of Research at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, and associate professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, discusses the recent advances in the area of ALK-positive non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The biggest advance, Hart explains, was in the last few years when crizotinib (Xalkori) was approved, as it is an agent with a specific molecular target that tremendously improves outcomes. Studies have shown that, compared with giving those patients chemotherapy, outcomes are improved when patients receive treatment with crizotinib versus standard therapy in first- or second-line settings.

Additional developments include ceritinib (Zykadia) and alectinib (Alecensa), which are both commercially available for patients. Both agents also have the ability to target brain metastases, which are common lesions in these patients. Patients with ALK-positive NSCLC may develop brain metastases either at diagnosis or shortly after, Hart says.

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