NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - page 39

39
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 5: Tests by cancer stage
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controls EGFR cause the receptors to be overactive, which in turn causes new
cancer cells to form quickly.
ALK gene rearrangement
For some lung cancers, the growth of the cancer cells is caused in part by an
ALK gene rearrangement. A gene rearrangement is the fusion of one gene
with another gene to create a new gene. In some lung cancers, ALK fuses with
EML4 (
e
chinoderm
m
icrotubule associated protein
l
ike
4
). The ALK-EML4
fusion gene makes proteins that help the lung cancer cells to grow.
There are other gene changes associated with non-small cell lung cancer.
Molecular testing for these gene changes should be done along with EGFR and
ALK. However, clinical trials of treatments for these gene changes in people with
lung cancer have not been completed or started. Other gene changes linked
with lung cancer include:
• BRAF mutations,
• HER2 mutations,
• MET amplifications,
• ROS1 gene fusions, and
• RET gene fusions.
Definitions:
biopsy:
Removal of small
amounts of tissue or fluid to
be tested for disease
Clinical trial:
Research
on a test or treatment to
assess its safety or how
well it works
genes:
Coded instructions
within cells for creating new
cells and controlling how
cells behave
scalene:
Within the neck
supraclavicular:
Above
the collarbone
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