Definition of Stage 4 lung cancer with ALK rearrangement

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Stage 4 lung cancer with ALK rearrangement: a late-stage lung cancer that has spread (metastasized) beyond the lung to other organs that also contains a rearrangement of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. Stage 4 refers to the fact that this metastatic spread has occurred. An ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene rearrangement is a type of genetic change that occurs in non-small cell lung cancers. This rearrangement results in the formation of a new oncogene referred to as EML4-ALK. Lung cancers that contain the EML4-ALK fusion oncogene or its variants are associated with certain features, including never or light smoking history, younger age, and certain microscopic appearances of the tumor. Lung cancers with an ALK rearrangement are highly sensitive to therapy with ALK-targeted inhibitor drugs.

See also: lung cancer, metastasis


Lung Cancer: Early Signs, Symptoms, Stages See Slideshow
Shaw et al. "Targeting anaplastic lymphoma kinase in lung cancer." Clin Cancer Res. 2011;17(8):2081.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors