Purpose: The clinical efficacy of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib has been demonstrated in ALK fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, brain metastases are frequent sites of initial failure in patients due to poor penetration of the central nervous system by crizotinib. Here, we examined the efficacy of a selective ALK inhibitor alectinib/CH5424802 in preclinical models of intracranial tumors.
Methods: We established intracranial tumor implantation mouse models of EML4-ALK-positive NSCLC NCI-H2228 and examined the antitumor activity of alectinib in this model. Plasma distribution and brain distribution of alectinib were examined by quantitative whole-body autoradiography administrating a single oral dose of (14)C-labeled alectinib to rats. The drug permeability of alectinib was evaluated in Caco-2 cell.
Results: Alectinib resulted in regression of NCI-H2228 tumor in mouse brain and provided a survival benefit. In a pharmacokinetic study using rats, alectinib showed a high brain-to-plasma ratio, and in an in vitro drug permeability study using Caco-2 cells, alectinib was not transported by P-glycoprotein efflux transporter that is a key factor in blood-brain barrier penetration.
Conclusions: We established intracranial tumor implantation models of EML4-ALK-positive NSCLC. Alectinib showed potent efficacy against intracranial EML4-ALK-positive tumor. These results demonstrated that alectinib might provide therapeutic opportunities for crizotinib-treated patients with brain metastases.