Lung cancer is the most common solid tumor in critically ill cancer patients admitted to intensive care units and is associated with a poor prognosis. Crizotinib is an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, which is active for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring ALK rearrangements. We report three cases of NSCLC patients who required mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure and were successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation after treatment with ALK inhibitors. These responses were accompanied by minimal toxicities and an overt improvement in performance status. These results suggest that ALK inhibitors may be safe and effective in critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure resulting from EML4-ALK translocated NSCLC progression.
- Mechanical ventilation
- Non-small-cell lung carcinoma