Significant Discrepancies between FISH and IHC Results for ALK Testing | Lung Cancer Dispatch |

"The findings of a recent study indicate that routine testing with both fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) may enhance the detection of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Accurate determination of ALK-positive tumors is necessary to identify patients with advanced NSCLC who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapy with an ALK inhibitor.

"The discovery of ALK rearrangement in about 1% to 7% of NSCLCs led to the development of ALK inhibitors, such as crizotinib, which have significantly improved treatment response among people with ALK-positive NSCLC. FISH with break-apart probes is currently the only approved test for the detection of ALK positivity in NSCLC, but this technique may not be available or feasible in all institutions. IHC, which is more affordable and accessible than FISH, has been found to be reliable as a screening tool, but interpretation of its results have not been standardized. Researchers continue to explore the optimal testing process for identifying ALK-positive NSCLCs."

Editor’s Note: “Molecular tests” like the one mentioned here can be very important for patients to choose the best treatment plan. Learn more at Lung Cancer Basics.