Efficacy of lorlatinib in lung carcinomas carrying distinct ALK translocation variants: The results of a single-center study

Transl Oncol. 2021 Aug;14(8):101121. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101121. Epub 2021 May 21.


Background: Lorlatinib is a novel potent ALK inhibitor, with only a few studies reporting the results of its clinical use.

Methods: This study describes the outcomes of lorlatinib treatment for 35 non-small cell lung cancer patients with ALK rearrangements, who had 2 (n = 5), 1 (n = 26) or none (n = 4) prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors and received lorlatinib mainly within the compassionate use program.

Results: Objective tumor response (OR) and disease control (DC) were registered in 15/35 (43%) and 33/35 (94%) patients, respectively; brain metastases were particularly responsive to the treatment (OR: 22/27 (81%); DC: 27/27 (100%)). Median progression free survival (PFS) was estimated to be 21.8 months, and median overall survival (OS) approached to 70.1 months. Only 4 out of 35 patients experienced no adverse effects; two of them were the only subjects who had no clinical benefit from lorlatinib. PFS and OS in the no-adverse-events lorlatinib users were strikingly lower as compared to the remaining patients (1.1 months vs. 23.7 months and 10.5 months vs. not reached, respectively; p < 0.0001 for both comparisons). ALK translocation variants were known for 28 patients; there was no statistical difference between patients with V.1 and V.3 rearrangements with regard to the OS or PFS.

Conclusion: Use of lorlatinib results in excellent disease outcomes, however caution must be taken for patients experiencing no adverse effects from this drug.

Keywords: ALK rearrangements; Brain metastases; Lorlatinib; Non-small cell lung cancer; Review.