Alectinib for Patients with ALK Rearrangement-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and a Poor Performance Status (Lung Oncology Group in Kyushu 1401)

J Thorac Oncol. 2017 Jul;12(7):1161-1166. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2017.02.012. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


Introduction: Alectinib has shown marked efficacy and safety in patients with anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase gene (ALK) rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a good performance status (PS). It has remained unclear whether alectinib might also be beneficial for such patients with a poor PS.

Methods: Eligible patients with advanced ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a PS of 2 to 4 received alectinib orally at 300 mg twice daily. The primary end point of the study was objective response rate (ORR), and the most informative secondary end point was rate of PS improvement.

Results: Between September 2014 and December 2015, 18 patients were enrolled in this phase II study. Of those patients, 12, five, and one had a PS of 2, 3, or 4, respectively, whereas four patients had received prior crizotinib treatment. The ORR was 72.2% (90% confidence interval: 52.9-85.8%). The ORR did not differ significantly between patients with a PS of 2 and those with a PS of 3 or higher (58.3% and 100%, respectively [p = 0.114]). The PS improvement rate was 83.3% (90% confidence interval: 64.8-93.1%, p < 0.0001), with the frequency of improvement to a PS of 0 or 1 being 72.2%. The median progression-free survival was 10.1 months. Toxicity was mild, with the frequency of adverse events of grade 3 or higher being low. Neither dose reduction nor withdrawal of alectinib because of toxicity was necessary.

Conclusions: Alectinib is a treatment option for patients with ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a poor PS.

Keywords: ALK rearrangement; Alectinib; NSCLC; Pharmacokinetics; Poor performance status.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carbazoles / pharmacology
  • Carbazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Carbazoles
  • Piperidines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • alectinib