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Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy

Shaw AT, Kim DW, Nakagawa K et al.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

 N Engl J Med 2013;368:2385–94.

Balazs Halmos’s review: One of the most exciting stories in cancer medicine over the last few years has been the rapid development of crizotinib as an effective therapy for patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation-positive NSCLC. Within a very short time, we went from the discovery of oncogenic ALK fusions in approximately 2–5% of lung adenocarcinomas in 2007 (Nature 2007;448:561–6) to the approval of the oral small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) crizotinib by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011. This approval was based on early experiences of approximately 60% response rates, often with excellent and durable responses (Lancet Oncol 2012;13:1011–9). The current study now brings this story full-circle, demonstrating the superiority of crizotinib over standard second-line chemotherapy.

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