Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the United States, and is the leading cause of death related to cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common subtype, with approximately 85% of diagnosed lung cancer being non-small cell lung cancer. Several genetic mutations exist in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, which allows for specialized targeted therapy. One such mutation, EML4-ALK fusion protein abnormalities, represents roughly 5% of non-small cell lung cancer patients, but the patient population in which it is most prevalent is young adults and those that don’t smoke or have a short history of smoking. Ceritinib (Zykadia), a newly approved ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor, shows exceptional potency against ALK mutations, and shows promise in the ability to overcome resistance that develops during crizotinib (Xalkori) therapy. Several studies are currently underway that are further evaluating the effectiveness of ceritinib in different areas of treatment for ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer.
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