J Cancer 2016; 7(11):1383-1387. doi:10.7150/jca.15238 This issue

Short Research Communication

Anti-ALK Antibodies in Patients with ALK-Positive Malignancies Not Expressing NPM-ALK

Christine Damm-Welk1✉, Faraz Siddiqi2, Matthias Fischer3,4,5, Barbara Hero3, Vignesh Narayanan6, David Ross Camidge6, Michael Harris2, Amos Burke7, Thomas Lehrnbecher8, Karen Pulford9, Ilske Oschlies10, Reiner Siebert11, Suzanne Turner2*, Wilhelm Woessmann1*✉

1. NHL-BFM Study Centre and Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany
2. Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK
3. Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology University of Cologne, Germany
4. Centre for Molecular Medicine Cologne, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Germany
5. Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne, Germany
6. University of Colorado Cancer Centre, Aurora, Colorado, USA
7. Department of Paediatric Oncology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
8. Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
9. Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
10. Department of Pathology, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany
11. Institute of Human Genetics, Christian-Albrechts-University and University Hospital Schleswig Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel Germany
* Joint senior authors

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Damm-Welk C, Siddiqi F, Fischer M, Hero B, Narayanan V, Camidge DR, Harris M, Burke A, Lehrnbecher T, Pulford K, Oschlies I, Siebert R, Turner S, Woessmann W. Anti-ALK Antibodies in Patients with ALK-Positive Malignancies Not Expressing NPM-ALK. J Cancer 2016; 7(11):1383-1387. doi:10.7150/jca.15238. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v07p1383.htm

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Patients with Nucleophosmin (NPM)- Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) fusion positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma produce autoantibodies against ALK indicative of an immune response against epitopes of the chimeric fusion protein. We asked whether ALK-expression in other malignancies induces specific antibodies. Antibodies against ALK were detected in sera of one of 50 analysed ALK-expressing neuroblastoma patients, 13 of 21 ALK positive non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients, 13 of 22 ALK translocation-positive, but NPM-ALK-negative lymphoma patients and one of one ALK-positive rhabdomyosarcoma patient, but not in 20 healthy adults. These data suggest that boosting a pre-existent anti-ALK immune response may be more feasible for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC, lymphomas and rhabdomyosarcomas than for tumours expressing wild-type ALK.

Keywords: ALK-antibody titre, NSCLC, neuroblastoma, lymphoma