Brigatinib (Alunbrig) for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer

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Therapeutic Areas: Lung and Respiratory Cancer
Year: 2017

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 87% of lung cancers in the UK. A small proportion of NSCLCs (about 5%) have a rearrangement in a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Younger patients, people who have never smoked (or smoked very little), women, and those with East Asian ethnicity are more likely to have ALK gene rearrangement. There are estimated to around 1,600 cases of this type of cancer diagnosed every year in England. The first-line treatment for ALK-positive NSCLC is a drug called crizotinib, but some patients are intolerant to this drug, or their cancer may progress while they are taking this drug.
Brigatinib is an anti-plastic agent that works in part by blocking the activity of the ALK protein, inhibiting the growth of tumour cells. It is taken orally as a tablet. Brigatinib would be offered as a second-line treatment to patients who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. If licensed, brigatinib will offer an additional treatment option for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC, and may extend patient survival time.