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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2012;5(5):397-410

Review Article
ALK-immunoreactive neoplasms

Parham Minoo, Huan-You Wang

Department of Pathology, University of California San Diego Health Sciences System, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0987

Received April 30, 2012; accepted May 15, 2012; Epub May 23, 2012; Published June 30, 2012

Abstract: Context: Since the first discovery of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) by Morris et al in
1994, the number of ALK-positive neoplasms, either in the form of translocation or gain-of-function mutations, have been dramatically
expanded from ALCL of T- and NK-cell origin, to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT), neuroblastoma,
non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), undifferentiated anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, and rare type of sarcomas. Objective: This review
covers the major aspects of ALK-immunoreactive neoplasms with emphasis on the pathogenesis of ALK-positive neoplasms. The new
advances and rapid-evolving practices using ALK inhibitors for therapy are also discussed at the end of this review. Data Sources: ALK(+)
articles published in English literature are retrieved and critically reviewed. Conclusion: ALK(+) neoplasia is a rapidly growing field and the list
of ALK(+) neoplasms is being expanded continuously. Accurate and correct diagnosis of ALK(+) neoplasms is of paramount importance in
guiding the appropriate treatment in the era of personalized medicine using specific ALK inhibitor.

Keywords: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL),  ALK-positive neoplasms

Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Huan-You Wang
Department of Pathology
University of California San Diego Health Sciences System
3855 Health Sciences Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0987, USA.
Tel: 858-822-2538; Fax: 858-822-1415
E-mail: hywang2@ucsd.edu