Background: More than 80% of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) patients harbor the (nucleophosmin) NPM1-ALK fusion gene t(2;5) chromosomal translocation. We evaluated the preclinical and clinical efficacy of ceritinib treatment of this aggressive lymphoma.
Materials and methods: We studied the effects of ceritinib treatment in NPM1-ALK+ T-cell lymphoma cell lines in vitro and on tumor size and survival advantage in vivo utilizing tumor xenografts. We treated an NPM1-ALK+ ALCL patient with ceritinib. We reviewed all hematologic malignancies profiled by a large hybrid-capture next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based comprehensive genomic profiling assay for ALK alterations.
Results: In our in vitro experiments, ceritinib inhibited constitutive activation of the fusion kinase NPM1-ALK and downstream effector molecules STAT3, AKT, and ERK1/2, and induced apoptosis of these lymphoma cell lines. Cell cycle analysis following ceritinib treatment showed G0/G1 arrest with a concomitant decrease in the percentage of cells in S and G2/M phases. Further, treatment with ceritinib in the NPM1-ALK+ ALCL xenograft model resulted in tumor regression and improved survival. Of 19 272 patients with hematopoietic diseases sequenced, 58 patients (0.30%) harbored ALK fusions that include histiocytic disorders, multiple myeloma, B-cell neoplasms, Castleman's disease, and juvenile xanthogranuloma. A multiple relapsed NPM1-ALK+ ALCL patient treated with ceritinib achieved complete remission with ongoing clinical benefit to date, 5 years after initiation of therapy.
Conclusions: This ceritinib translational study in NPM1-ALK+ ALCL provides a strong rationale for a prospective study of ceritinib in ALK+ T-cell lymphomas and other ALK+ hematologic malignancies.
Keywords: ALK inhibitor; NPM1-ALK+ ALCL; apoptosis; clinical trial; complete response; precision medicine.
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