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What is Alecensa used to treat?

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on Dec 6, 2022.

Official answer


Alecensa (alectinib) is used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer that is caused by a mutation in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene.

The ALK gene mutation is detected by an FDA approved test.

People with the ALK gene mutation who have non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body have ALK-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

ALK-positive NSCLC is often found in younger people who have a light or non-smoking history. Approximately 5 percent of people with NSCLC in the United States are ALK-positive.

Alecensa belongs to the class of drugs called multikinase inhibitors. It works by targeting anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) to help slow or stop tumor growth.

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