What is ALK+ cancer?

ALK+ is a type of genetic mutation driven cancer. There is no known cause, and it is currently thought to be incurable once it has spread. The vast majority of ALK+ patients have lung cancer, but it can also present in many other cancers including skin, brain, nervous system, bowel and breast. It is frequently observed in some cancers that predominantly affect children such as neuroblastoma and glioblastoma.

ALK+ lung cancer occurs in approximately 5% of all non small cell lung cancer patients.  However, it occurs in approximately 30% of lung cancer patients diagnosed under age 40. Around half of ALK+ lung cancer patients are diagnosed before the age of 50. It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 ALK+ lung cancer patients diagnosed worldwide every year.

The following video by renowned oncologist and ALK expert Dr Ross Camidge, explains how ALK-positive cancers occur.

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