Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 965–968 | Cite as

EML4–ALK rearrangement in squamous cell carcinoma shows significant response to anti-ALK inhibitor drugs crizotinib and alectinib

  • Thomas Huang
  • Brigitte J. Engelmann
  • Rachael M. Morgan
  • Kimberly J. Absher
  • Jill M. Kolesar
  • John L. Villano
Short Communication


EML4–ALK alterations are more common in adenocarcinomas and are rarely found in squamous cell histology. In documented cases, the majority of EML4–ALK translocations are identified in squamous cell histology and occur in patients with no or light smoking history. We report an EML4–ALK4 translocation in a 50-year-old patient with squamous cell carcinoma and an 18 pack-year smoking history. The patient had a near complete response in the CNS to alectinib treatment. Our observation suggests that EML4–ALK genomic testing may be clinically useful in patients with heavy smoking history.


Squamous cell lung cancer EML4–ALK translocation Crizotinib Alectinib Smoking Anti-ALK inhibitor treatment 



The authors would like to thank the patient and her family.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the patient included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Markey Cancer CenterUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.College of PharmacyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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