SIDEBAR: European Database

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In a separate presentation at the 2012 ESMO Congress, Fiona Blackhall, MD, Manchester University and Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK, reported findings from the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) Lungscape Project.1 This is the first large European dataset to evaluate the presence and outcome of ALK positivity in patients with stage I to III resected lung carcinoma using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing as confirmation.

Thus far, about 1,099 patient cases have been enrolled in the database. Of these, 69 (6.3%) were ALK-positive by IHC. A high level of concordance was seen between ALK IHC-positive and FISH-positive cases, with 90.5% sensitivity and 97.7% specificity for FISH positivity in ALK IHC3+ cases. Positive IHC and FISH results also appear to provide prognostic information in patients with stage I to III surgically resected carcinoma, Dr. Blackhall said. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Blackhall has received honoraria from Pfizer for speaker and advisory board roles.


1. Blackhall FH, Peters S, Kerr KM, et al: Prevalence and clinical outcomes for patients with ALK gene rearrangement in Europe. 2012 ESMO Congress. Abstract 1670. Presented September 29, 2012.

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