ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung cancer. NSCLC accounts for 85 – 90% of all lung cancer cases. Patients with NSCLC with the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement account for 4 – 5% of NSCLC patients. It is estimated that there are 9,000 new cases in the U.S. of NSCLC ALK-positive patients, according to the National Institutes for Health.


Adenocarcinoma is the most common NSCLC, predominantly affecting people who smoke, or used to smoke, but it is also the most common type of lung cancer seen in non-smokers. Comprising approximately 40% of all lung cancer cases, adenocarcinoma is more common in women, and it is more likely to affect younger people than other types of lung cancer. Adenocarcinoma is usually found in the outer region of the lung, and it tends to grow slower.