Prevalence and Clinico-Pathologic Features of ALK Rearrangement Among Adult Filipinos with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in a Private Tertiary Care Hospital
Introduction. With advancements in the understanding of lung cancer biology, targeted therapy has become the rule rather than the exception. Patients with ALK rearrangements are amenable to therapy with Alectinib and other ALK inhibitors, which has been associated with better patient outcomes. While ALK rearrangement should be routinely tested in non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the cost and availability of this test is a prohibitive factor, particularly in the Philippine setting.
Objectives. This study aimed (1) to determine the prevalence of ALK-rearranged NSCLC among adult Filipino lung cancer patients in St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) from 2016 to 2018 and (2) to determine the clinico-pathologic features of adult Filipinos with ALK-rearranged NSCLC.
Methodology. This is a retrospective cross-sectional descriptive study wherein the prevalence of ALK-rearranged NSCLC, detected using fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) or immunohistochemistry (IHC), was determined. Clinical data of patients for whom ALK testing was performed were collected. Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) slides were retrieved and reviewed for the presence of certain morphologic features. Patients whose H&E slides cannot be retrieved were excluded from the study.
Results. ALK rearrangement was seen in 7.8% (8/103) of tumors submitted for ALK testing. Patients with ALK-rearranged tumors were generally young, light smokers, and presented with advanced clinical stage. Clear cell features and solid pattern were noted in one case and three cases, respectively. However, due to small sample size, further statistical analysis could not be performed to analyze the association of these features with the presence of ALK rearrangement.
Conclusion. Despite a small sample size, the prevalence and clinical profile of ALK-rearranged NSCLC in our institution are congruent with those previously described in Western populations. The association of clinical profile and morphologic features with the presence of ALK rearrangement can be further explored in future studies.
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