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Cancer research

Therapeutically Targetable ALK Mutations in Leukemia.


PMID 26032424

Abstract

Genome sequencing is revealing a vast mutational landscape in leukemia, offering new opportunities for treatment with targeted therapy. Here, we identify two patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia whose tumors harbor point mutations in the ALK kinase. The mutations reside in the extracellular domain of ALK and are potently transforming in cytokine-independent cellular assays and primary mouse bone marrow colony formation studies. Strikingly, both mutations conferred sensitivity to ALK kinase inhibitors, including the FDA-approved drug crizotinib. On the basis of our results, we propose that tumors harboring ALK mutations may be therapeutically tractable for personalized treatment of certain aggressive leukemias with ALK inhibitors.