AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Rare Mutation May Extend Survival in Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases

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A very unusual genetic mutation has been linked to a significant survival increase when faced with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has metastasized to the brain. A study conducted by Yale Cancer Center, published in the Journal for Clinical Oncology, details an ALK mutation found in under five percent of NSCLC cases that is linked to a four-year survival rate, compared to the typical one-year rate found in the majority of the population. “This study is among the first to show that genetic information about tumors can guide decision making for the treatment of brain metastases,” the lead author of the study said. “Patients with the ALK mutation respond so well to targeted systemic treatments that the brain lesions actually become the driving prognostic factor in their treatment plan.” To learn more about this study, click here.

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