Changes involving the gene ALK can also be found in NSCLC. These oral drugs are approved to treat such “ALK positive” lung cancer when it has spread. Alecensa, Xalkori and Zykadia are all approved as first treatments. All four of these drugs are approved for use after the cancer has stopped responding to another treatment.
Importantly, some of these drugs work to treat cancer in the brain and spinal cord better. Some are better if your cancer has certain changes in ALK. Some may also have fewer side effects. It is important to talk with your healthcare team about which therapy is best for you.