18/04/2023 às 12:33 Healthcare

Overview of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

3min de leitura

One of the most common lung cancers is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Around 85% of lung cancer cases are NSCLC. It is a term that describes any epithelial lung cancer type other than small-cell lung cancer. NSCLC occurs when abnormal cells grow and divide (out of control) in the tissues of your lungs and produce a mass known as a tumor, lesion, or nodule.

What is ALK-positive lung cancer?

Lung cancer is common in two different types in which ALK (Anaplastic lymphoma kinase) positive lung cancer (NSCLC) is a DNA mutation due to the fusion of two genes, producing a fusion protein. This fusion protein has ALK receptor tyrosine kinase responsible for uncontrolled cell growth and division, leading to cancer, and can spread to the other part of the body. 


ALK-positive lung cancer’s symptoms are like the other type of lung cancer. Lung cancer does not show any symptoms unless and until it spreads all over the body. 

  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Coughing up blood 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Weakness 
  • Wheezing


There are several different types of tests that doctors use. It starts with a physical exam and a review of medical history, followed by, 

  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans, may be used to look for abnormalities in the lungs and other parts of the body.
  • Biopsy: It is a technique that removes a small tissue sample from the lung or other affected area to be examined under a microscope. A biopsy is used to conclude the type of lung cancer. Doctors may refer to this testing as comprehensive biomarker testing or next-generation sequencing.
  • Liquid biopsy: This test examines the blood’s DNA to find the tumor cells. 
  • FISH analysis: Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) is a molecular diagnostic test that detects the rearrangement of the gene. 
  • Immunohistochemistry: It is a molecular diagnostic test that looks for the presence of protein expression in the ALK cancer cells. 


Stage 0: Tumor is limited in the top layer of airway cells. It has not started to spread to any body part.

Stage 1A:  Presence of tumor, 1-3 centimeters (cm) in diameter.

Stage 1B:  The diameter of the tumor will be around 3-4 and maybe affect deeper parts of the lungs. 

Stage 2A:  The tumor is 4–5 cm in diameter, and like stage 1B, this may also affect deeper lung parts.

Stage 2B:  Same as stage 2A, but this stage starts to spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. 

Stage 3A:  The tumor is 5–7 cm in diameter and has spread further into the lungs.

Stage 3B:  The tumor is beginning to affect the chest and the areas around the heart.

Stage 4:  The most advanced form, where the disease has spread to distant body parts, such as your bones or brain.


Depending on the underlying issues, non-small cell lung cancer is treated with different methods. Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer includes therapies such as chemotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Alecensa 150mg capsule is used to treat ALK-positive lung tumors (non-small cell lung cancer) that has spread to other organs. Alecensa 150mg capsule is related to its ability to target a specific genetic mutation called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in NSCLC cells. By inhibiting the ALK protein, this medication can slow down or stop the growth and spread of cancer cells with the ALK genetic mutation. The common side effect of this medicine is fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, inflammation in the mouth, and light sensitivity.

18 Abr 2023

Overview of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

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