What is EML4-ALK?
Approximately 80% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) 1. The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene frequently involves in gene fusions that lead to lung cancer. One of its most frequent fusion partners in NSCLC is the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene.
How does EML4-ALK cause cancer?
EML4-ALK fusion proteins cause cancer by activating the signaling pathway that causes uncontrolled cell growth in lungs. This eventually progresses into cancer.
Why is detecting EML4-ALK fusions important?
Knowing the existence of EML4-ALK fusion not only helps physicians identify the root cause of cancer, but also helps in selecting the most effective therapy for patients with NSCLC. Inhibition of ALK may be an effective treatment approach for patients with ALK-positive tumors2, 3, but its efficacy varies among the different types of EML4-ALK fusions3, 4. Finding this information can provide better treatment for patients.
Who should consider this test?
Patients who are suffering from NSCLC and/or patients who have received targeted therapy and failed to show signs of recovery are advised to perform this test.
What should I do if my test results are positive?
Please consult your physicians for professional advices.