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Inexpensive method detects ALK rearrangement in lung cancer patients

A relatively simple and inexpensive method may be used to determine whether a lung cancer patient is a candidate for crizotinib therapy, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

Lung cancer patients with ALK rearrangement have been found to respond well to crizotinib, an ALK inhibitor currently in clinical trials. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) has been considered the gold standard method for detecting ALK rearrangement.

"However, FISH requires a fluorescence microscope, and the signals are labile and rapidly fade over time," researchers wrote in the study, led by Jin-Haeng Chung, M.D., Ph.D., of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in South Korea.

Researchers compared ALK rearrangement assessments using FISH and a newly developed method called chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH). CISH allows detection of gene copy status using a conventional peroxidase-base reaction and standard bright field light microscope.

Out of a total 465 non-small cell lung cancer samples, ALK rearrangement was assessed using CISH in 449 patients (96.6%) and ALK rearrangement was identified in 18 patients (4%). Using FISH, ALK rearrangement was assessed in 453 patients (97.4%); ALK rearrangement was identified in 19 patients (4.2%). Among these cases, 443 cases (95.3%) had results matching the corresponding FISH results: 17 rearranged, 425 wild types, and 1 discordant case.

"There was high concordance in the assessment of ALK gene rearrangement between FISH and CISH techniques," researchers wrote.

For a copy of the article or to arrange an interview, please contact Renée McGaw, IASLC director of communications, at or +1-303-724-5796.

Supported by a grant-in-aid from Korea Institute of Science & Technology and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

About the Journal of Thoracic Oncology:

The Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) is the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). It is a prized resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. It emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach, including original research (clinical trials and translational or basic research), reviews and opinion pieces.

To learn more about the JTO please visit

About the IASLC:

The Denver-based International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1972, the association's membership includes more than 3,000 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries.

IASLC members promote the study of etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. IASLC disseminates information about lung cancer to scientists, members of the medical community and the public, and uses all available means to eliminate lung cancer as a health threat for the individual patients and throughout the world. Membership is open to any physician, health professional or scientist interested in lung cancer.

To learn more about IASLC please visit

Renée McGaw | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: CISH Cancer Fish IASLC Oncology in situ hybridization information technology lung cancer

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