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Jay Gong, Jeffrey P. Gregg, Weijie Ma, Ken Yoneda, Elizabeth H. Moore, Megan E. Daly, Yanhong Zhang, Melissa J. Williams, and Tianhong Li

Histologic transformation from adenocarcinoma to squamous cell carcinoma in lung cancer has not been reported as a mechanism of resistance to ALK inhibition. This report describes the clinical course of a female former light smoker with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma whose tumor underwent histologic transformation from a well-differentiated lung adenocarcinoma to a well-differentiated lung squamous cell carcinoma in the same location at the left mainstem bronchus while maintaining the ALK fusion oncogene without any resistance mutations. After experiencing disease progression while on crizotinib, the patient participated in clinical trials that provided early access to the novel ALK inhibitors ceritinib and alectinib before they were commercially available. Tumor recurrence occurred at the primary and metastatic central nervous system sites (ie, brain and spine). At tumor progression, liquid biopsy and tumor genomic profiling of plasma cell-free DNA next-generation sequencing (NGS) provided an accurate diagnosis with a short turnaround time compared with the tissue-based targeted capture NGS. The patient received several courses of radiation primarily to the brain and spine during her disease course. Her disease did not respond to the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, and she died on home hospice approximately 4 years after diagnosis. This case supports the importance of both histopathologic assessment and comprehensive genomic profiling in selecting appropriate treatment for patients with refractory, metastatic, ALK oncogene–driven non–small cell lung cancer. Use of symptom-directed radiation in tandem with ALK inhibitors contributed to the disease and symptomatic control and prolonged survival in this patient.

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Fangwen Zou, Hamzah Abu-Sbeih, Weijie Ma, Yuanzun Peng, Wei Qiao, Jianbo Wang, Amishi Y. Shah, Isabella C. Glitza Oliva, Sarina A. Piha-Paul, John A. Thompson, Hao Chi Zhang, Anusha S. Thomas, and Yinghong Wang

Background: Immune-mediated diarrhea and colitis (IMDC) is a common immune-related adverse effect related to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We aimed to identify risk factors for chronic IMDC and its prognostic value in cancer outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively collected data on patients with a diagnosis of IMDC between January 2018 and October 2019 and grouped them based on disease duration into acute (≤3 months) and chronic (>3 months) categories. A logistic regression model and the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank tests were used for biostatistical analysis. Results: In our sample of 88 patients, 43 were in the chronic group and 45 were in the acute group. Genitourinary cancer and melanoma accounted for 70% of malignancies. PD-1/L1 monotherapy (52%) was the more frequently used regimen. We showed that chronic IMDC was associated with proton pump inhibitor use (odds ratio [OR], 3.96; P=.026), long duration of IMDC symptoms (OR, 1.05; P<.001) and hospitalization (OR, 1.07; P=.043), a histologic feature of chronic active colitis (OR, 4.8; P=.025) or microscopic colitis (OR, 5.0; P=.045), and delayed introduction of selective immunosuppressive therapy (infliximab/vedolizumab; OR, 1.06; P=.047). Chronic IMDC also reflected a better cancer response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (30% vs 51%; P=.002) and was accompanied by improved overall survival (P=.035). Similarly, higher doses of selective immunosuppressive therapy were associated with better overall survival (P=.018). Conclusions: Chronic IMDC can develop among patients with a more aggressive disease course and chronic features on colon histology. It likely reflects a prolonged immune checkpoint inhibitor effect and is associated with better cancer outcome and overall survival.