Methods for Identifying Patients with Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase (TRK) Fusion Cancer

Pathol Oncol Res. 2020 Jul;26(3):1385-1399. doi: 10.1007/s12253-019-00685-2. Epub 2019 Jun 29.


NTRK gene fusions affecting the tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) protein family have been found to be oncogenic drivers in a broad range of cancers. Small molecule inhibitors targeting TRK activity, such as the recently Food and Drug Administration-approved agent larotrectinib (Vitrakvi®), have shown promising efficacy and safety data in the treatment of patients with TRK fusion cancers. NTRK gene fusions can be detected using several different approaches, including fluorescent in situ hybridization, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, next-generation sequencing, and ribonucleic acid-based multiplexed assays. Identifying patients with cancers that harbor NTRK gene fusions will optimize treatment outcomes by providing targeted precision therapy.

Keywords: NGS; NTRK gene fusions; Next-generation sequencing; TRK fusions; TRK inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oncogene Fusion / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / analysis*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases

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