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How does Alecensa work?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 23, 2024.

Official answer


Alecensa works to slow down the growth and spread of non-small cell lung cancer by blocking a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK protein).

A small percentage of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a fault in their ALK gene (anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene) that causes it to make an abnormal protein that helps NSCLC grow and spread. By inhibiting the ALK protein, Alecensa reduces the growth of ALK positive metastatic NSCLC.

Alecensa is only used in metastatic NSCLC that has been tested and confirmed to be ALK positive.


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