Successful treatment of crizotinib-induced dysgeusia by switching to alectinib in ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2015 Apr;88(1):112-3. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.01.018. Epub 2015 Jan 31.


We describe a case of dysgeusia that developed gradually over one week after initiation of crizotinib administration for treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, necessitating discontinuation of the agent. The symptom was accompanied by progressive loss in appetite and body weight. Alectinib, a novel alternative ALK inhibitor, was administered and has been successfully continued without any toxicity, including dysgeusia. The present case indicates that dysgeusia is an important toxicity associated with crizotinib, which could adversely affect nutritional condition and quality of life. We describe the clinical course and present a review of crizotinib-induced dysgeusia.

Keywords: ALK inhibitor; Appetite loss; Chemotherapy; Molecular tagetd agent; Taste change; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carbazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Crizotinib
  • Drug Substitution
  • Dysgeusia / chemically induced
  • Dysgeusia / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrazoles / adverse effects*
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyridines / adverse effects*
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carbazoles
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridines
  • Crizotinib
  • ALK protein, human
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • alectinib