Characteristics and outcomes of ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer patients in Korea
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. Oct 2017;13(5):e239-e245
This study aimed to describe characteristics, treatment patterns and survival among Korean patients diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)+ non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
A retrospective patient chart review was conducted in major cancer centers in Korea in 2014-2015. Participating physicians reviewed patient charts and reported characteristics, treatment patterns, clinician-defined progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of ALK+ locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC patients. PFS and OS were estimated using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Physicians reported on 55 ALK+ NSCLC patients. Median age at locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC diagnosis was 60 years. Most patients (82%) received initial chemotherapy; 13% received an ALK inhibitor in the first line; 62% received an ALK inhibitor by the end of follow-up. Of the 30 patients who received crizotinib, 83% discontinued and 13% died during crizotinib therapy. Median PFS on crizotinib was 6.7 months. Of those who discontinued, 32% switched to chemotherapy, 16% switched to a different ALK inhibitor and 52% received no further therapy. After discontinuing crizotinib, median OS was 6.0 months overall, and 3.4 months among patients who did not receive a second-generation ALK inhibitor.
In this study of locally advanced or metastatic ALK+ NSCLC patients in Korea, roughly one-third did not receive an ALK inhibitor. Among patients who discontinued crizotinib, over half received no further antineoplastic therapy and OS was poor, particularly among patients without second-generation ALK inhibitor use. These findings suggest a need for greater access to effective treatments following crizotinib discontinuation for ALK+ NSCLC patients in Korea.