Monitoring for and Characterizing Crizotinib Progression: A Chart Review of ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Advances in Therapy. Jul 2017;34(7):1673-1685


Crizotinib is recommended as first-line therapy for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but within a year of treatment initiation many patients develop resistance. With the recent approval of second-generation ALK inhibitors, this study assessed how physicians monitor for and diagnose progression and how they alter treatment following progression on crizotinib.


A panel of oncologists from the United States were surveyed regarding their monitoring practices and criteria for diagnosing progression on crizotinib. The physicians also retrospectively provided data (March-June 2016) from the medical charts of their adult patientswith locally advanced or metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC who progressed on crizotinib after the approval (April 2014) of the first second-generation ALK inhibitor, ceritinib.


A total of 28 physicians responded to the survey. Data was abstracted on 74 patients. In the physician survey, most physicians (71%) reported monitoring for radiographic progression every 3-4 months. When new lesions were detected, physician response varied. Following a symptomatic isolated lesion, most physicians (75%) would add local therapy and resume crizotinib. Following multiple symptomatic lesions, 96% and 64% of physicians would switch to a new therapy depending on whether the lesions were extracranial or isolated to the brain, respectively. For the patient cohort, physician-defined progression on crizotinib was diagnosed after a median of 10 months, and within 30 days of diagnosis, 86% of patients discontinued crizotinib. Among all patients who discontinued crizotinib, 77% switched to ceritinib, 14% to chemotherapy, and 1% to alectinib. The remaining 7% did not receive additional systemic antineoplastic therapy.


The findings from this physician survey and retrospective chart review study suggest that physician response to the development of new lesions in crizotinib-treated ALK-positive NSCLC patients varies with location and extent of the lesions. Once patientswere considered to have progressed, most of them were immediately switched to ceritinib.


Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

View abstract


Bendaly E, Dalal AA, Culver K, Galebach P, Bocharova I, Foster R, Sasane M, Macalalad AR, Guérin A