An extremely rare case of small-cell lung cancer harboring variant 2 of the EML4-ALK fusion gene

Gouji Toyokawa, Mitsuhiro Takenoyama, Kenichi Taguchi, Ryo Toyozawa, Eiko Inamasu, Miyako Kojo, Yoshimasa Shiraishi, Yosuke Morodomi, Tomoyoshi Takenaka, Fumihiko Hirai, Masafumi Yamaguchi, Takashi Seto, Mototsugu Shimokawa, Yukito Ichinose

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase ( ALK) fuses echinoderm microtubule-. associated protein-. like 4 ( EML4) to acquire a transforming activity in lung adenocarcinomas. However, the presence of an EML4-. ALK fusion gene in other lung cancer histologies is an extremely rare phenomenon. A 43-year-old female was referred to our department due to dyspnea on effort and left back pain. Computed tomography (CT) showed a large mass in the upper lobe of the left lung and a massive left pleural effusion, while a CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Surprisingly, the tumor was genetically considered to harbor the EML4-. ALK fusion gene (variant 2). Although the patient underwent two regimens of cytotoxic chemotherapy for SCLC, she died approximately seven months after the administration of first-line chemotherapy. Our analysis of 30 consecutive patients with SCLC for EML4-. ALK revealed that two patients, including the current patient and a patient we previously reported, harbored the EML4-. ALK fusion gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-490
Number of pages4
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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