Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) are soft tissue neoplasms with rare metastatic potential. Approximately half of IMTs are positive for an ALK rearrangement, and ALK inhibitors have been used successfully in the treatment of IMTs with a variety of ALK fusions. This report describes a 21-year-old woman with an aggressive, metastatic IMT with a novel NUMA1-ALK fusion that showed a dramatic response to the ALK inhibitors crizotinib and alectinib. To our knowledge, this report provides the first published description of an IMT with a NUMA1-ALK fusion. The patient's aggressive IMT responded favorably to crizotinib and alectinib, suggesting that ALK inhibitors may be effective in IMT with NUMA1-ALK fusions. We review published reports of ALK-driven IMTs that have received ALK inhibitor therapy and suggest characteristics that may be associated with favorable response to treatment. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and next-generation sequencing in the diagnosis and management of IMTs.
Nisha Rao, Hans Iwenofu, Bingfeng Tang, Jennifer Woyach and David A. Liebner
Michelle C. Nguyen, Manisha H. Shah, David A. Liebner, Floor J. Backes, John Phay and Lawrence A. Shirley
Therapeutic agents targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis have shown durable clinical responses in patients with various cancer types. Although objective responses are common, intrapatient heterogeneous responses have been described, and the mechanism for the different organ responses remains unknown. We present a series of patients in whom a lack of response was noted solely in the adrenal glands. This is the first case series describing 3 patients with heterogeneous patterns of response to pembrolizumab with progression of adrenal metastatic disease despite objective response (complete or partial response) in all other sites of metastatic disease. Two patients, one with melanoma and one with uterine carcinosarcoma, underwent robotic adrenalectomy for enlarging adrenal metastases. An additional patient with melanoma underwent laparotomy with attempted resection, but infiltration of the adrenal tumor into the inferior vena cava prohibited safe excision. This report provides additional insight into the heterogeneous patterns of disease response to anti–PD-1 therapy, highlighting the adrenal gland as a potential sanctuary site for this immunotherapy. These cases display the potential benefit of early surgical resection in this scenario and the pitfalls of delaying referral to a surgeon for assessment of operative intervention.