Fusion genes have been identified as chromosomal rearrangements in certain cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and sarcoma. The EML4-ALK (EML4: echinoderm microtubule-associated-protein-like 4; ALK: anaplastic lymphoma kinase) fusion gene has been identified as an oncogene in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study examined the presence of this fusion transcript in gastrointestinal and breast cancers. We evaluated the expression of the EML4-ALK transcript in 104 lung cancer cases and in 645 gastrointestinal and breast cancer samples. Only one of the lung cancer samples tested positive for the EML4-ALK fusion transcript, whereas none were detected in 555 gastrointestinal and 90 breast cancer cases. Our data suggest that the EML4-ALK fusion transcript is not present in gastrointestinal or breast cancers and is specific to NSCLC.
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