Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour (IMT) are both rare conditions that usually affect children and young adults. ALCL is a type of cancer that occurs when T-cells, which contribute to the body’s immune system, become abnormal. IMTs are most commonly non-cancerous (benign), however in some cases the tumour can become cancerous (malignant). Both conditions can be ALK-positive (ALK+), this means that the tumour cells have a mutation in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) resulting in uncontrolled cell replication. These conditions may not be able to be treated through surgical removal of the tumour (unresectable); they may also come back after treatment (relapse) or be resistant to current treatment options (refractory).
Crizotinib is an anticancer medication that can be taken up to twice daily, orally, as a capsule. This medication acts by blocking the growth and spread of tumorous cells that are ALK+. If licenced, crizotinib would be the first biomarker-driven therapy for paediatric ALK+ ALCL and IMT.