Targeted Therapies

  • Author: Gail Wilkes, RNC, ANP-BC, MS, AOCN® (More Info)
  • Section Editor: Marlene SanFilippo, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, AOCNP®
  • Editors In Chief: Dawn Camp-Sorrell, MSN, FNP, AOCN®; Rebecca Hawkins, MSN, ANP, AOCN®, ACHPN
  • Last Reviewed: 5/26/17 (What's New)


  • ALK fusions occur in approximately 3% to 7% of patients with NSCLC[Soda 2007; Mano 2008; Wong 2009]
  • 4 agents are approved for patients with metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC: crizotinib for first line and alectinib (Table 4), brigatinib (Table 5), and ceritinib (Table 6) for patients who have progressed on or who cannot tolerate crizotinib (Table 7). Each of these agents blocks multiple targets
  • Nurses need to be aware that ALK inhibitors can cause visual disturbances (eg, flashing or trailing lights)[Shaw 2013; Rothstein 2014]

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