Developed to target the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutation, Xalkori (crizotinib) was approved for a subset of non-small cell lung cancers. The ALK mutation is also present in more than half of anaplastic large-cell lymphomas.
A study looking at the long-term effect of Xalkori in 11 participants with advanced ALK-positive lymphoma showed they experienced a near immediate regression of their disease, with nine participants having a complete response. Although the response was not long-lasting for some, four participants continue to have no signs of disease, and four have successfully gone on to other treatments, including transplantation or an investigational therapy. Subsequent analysis of blood taken from two participants whose disease progressed while on the experimental treatment uncovered new genetic mutations resistant to Xalkori that were not present before treatment.