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Denise Brock

Denise has over 30 years of varying experience in the healthcare arena.  In August 2009 she joined The Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education as one of its first employees.  She has grown with the organization and now oversees the operational movement of programs, efficiency, and effectiveness within the organization, as well as the daily processes and functions.  


Lung Cancer Video Library - Spanish Language: Video #45 ALK Marker Testing
Denise Brock

We are pleased to continue this series of informational videos for our Spanish speaking community.  GRACE is pleased to welcome Dr. Rafael Santana-Davila, Assistant Professor with the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  In this 45th video for the Spanish lung cancer video library, Dr. Santana-Davila joined GRACE to discuss ALK marker testing. 






Prueba de Marcadores Tumorales: Cinasa de Linfoma Anaplásico

ALK Marker Testing


Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Washington Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle, Washington



Uno de los principales logros que ha habido en la última década en el tratamiento del cancer de pulmón, es el descubrimiento de que en algunos casos de los casos (alrededor del 10% de los casos en general), se puede descubrir que hay una mutación que es lo que lo ha llevado a que el cáncer se reproduzca fácilmente.

En la mayoría de los casos, esto es una mutación en el gen de crecimiento epidermoide o EGFR. Esto ocurre en alrededor del 10% de los casos de cancer de pulmón general, pero puede llegar a ocurrir en el 50% de los casos de no fumadores.

Hacemos un test en el espécimen de patología y cuando es positivo, el paciente es candidato a tratarse con un medicamento que en la mayoría de los casos es una píldora. Ha habido muchos avances en el tratamiento de este tipo de cancer.

El otro marcador tumoral que buscamos es ALK (cinasa de linfoma anaplásico) que es una translocación en donde lo que pasa es que dos cromosomas intercambiaron información en dos células tumorales llevando a la formación de una nueva proteína. Cuando esto ocurre, el tratamiento está diseñado a atacar esta translocación e inhibir a esta proteína en particular.

Cuando se tiene cualquiera de estos marcadores tumorales, el tratamiento es más específico, por lo que es muy importante saber si el paciente tiene alguno de estos marcadores.



One of the biggest accomplishments made in the last decade on lung cancer treatment is the discovery that in about 10% of all the patients there is a mutation that is related to the progression of the cancer.

In most cases, it’s a mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR. In general, this appears in about 10% of lung cancer cases, but there can be in 50% of the non-smokers patients. We do a pathology test of the specimen and when it’s positive, the patient is a candidate to receive a special treatment, that is usually a pill. There have been many advances in the treatment of this kind of cancer.

The other tumoral marker we look for is ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), which is a translocation where two chromosomes change information in two tumoral cells and create a new protein. When this happens, the treatment is designed to attack this translocation and inhibit this particular protein.

When the patient has either one of those markers, the treatment becomes more specific. There’s the importance of knowing if the patient has one of them.


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