Mediathek

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What is ALK-positive lung cancer?

In 2014, lung cancer was the second most common newly diagnosed cancer among men and the third most common among women in Germany. There are rarely any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. As a result, lung cancer is often not diagnosed until it is already well advanced. Lung cancer develops from cells in the lung that have undergone genetic changes. One of these is known as non-small-cell lung cancer, which affects 80-85% of all lung cancer patients.1,2,3

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The diagnosis of ALK-positive lung cancer

Once the diagnosis of lung cancer has been established, further tests can be done in most cases to find the best treatment for the patient. For example, pathological tissue tests generally enable the doctor to determine the type of cancer exactly. When choosing treatment it is important to know whether the cancer is small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancer. The latter is much more common, with an incidence of about 85%.4,5

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The treatment of ALK-positive lung cancer

In recent years, major progress has been made in the treatment of advanced lung cancer. While conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy long took priority, researchers have now succeeded in gaining a better understanding of the formation and structure of tumour cells and in developing effective new treatment approaches. Thus, new medicines are now available for the treatment of certain forms of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer that are designed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in a targeted way and spare healthy body cells. Doctors refer to these as targeted therapies.6,7

  1. Robert Koch Institut. Krebs in Deutschland 2015/2016. Online unter: https://www.krebsdaten.de/Krebs/DE/Content/Publikationen/Krebs_in_Deutschland/kid_2019/krebs_in_deutschland_2019.pdf?__blob=publicationFile; Letzter Zugriff 26.02.2021

  2. American Cancer Society. Online unter: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/detection.html; Letzter Zugriff 26.02.2021.

  3. American Cancer Society. Online unter: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/what-is-non-small-cell-lung-cancer.html; Letzter Zugriff 26.02.2021

  4. Onkopedia Leitlinie „Lungenkarzinom, nicht-kleinzellig (NSCLC)“. Online unter: https://www.onkopedia.com/de/onkopedia/guidelines/lungenkarzinom-nicht-kleinzellig-nsclc/@@view/html/index.html#litID0EYMCI; Letzter Zugriff 26.02.2021.

  5. American Cancer Society. Online unter: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/what-is-non-small-cell-lung-cancer.html; Letzter Zugriff 26.02.2021.

  6. Chia PL, Mitchell P, Dobrovic A, John T. Clin Epidemiol. 2014; 6:423-432.

  7. Boolell V et al. Cancers 2015; 7:1815-1846.

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 07.06.2021