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Immunohistochemistry - Lung ALk testing

  • Lung Alk Immunocytochemistry testing
  • Lung Alk applications

This technique is used to complement the more expensive although considered more reliable EGFR test. This testing is carried out to see whether a lung cancer patient will respond to Alk inhibitor drugs.

The Alk fusion mutation which has been identified in non-small cell lung cancer in 2007, is an alteration in the normal ALK gene. This is believed to play an essential role in the growth of some lung cancers. Those that are positive for the mutation can be treated using inhibitor drugs, while those that are negative are given standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy instead.

In the reaction shown below, Lung Alk staining although difficult to see is present in the case tested below.

Picture 1 – Lung Alk testing for Non small cell squamous carcinoma

 Lung Alk Immunocytochemistry in Lung tissue

This reaction is only one of a huge range of tests like Kras, Braf and HPV genetic testing which is vastly expanding at the present time. This is a area that is growing in importance and is highly likely to expand to other laboratories. The only drawback of using this technique is that it is time consuming, which is a limiting factor but it still has a promising future.