About 5% of non-small cell lung cancer cases are ALK+, which means there is a rearrangement in a gene called the ALK gene. This produces an abnormal type of protein that causes cells to grow and spread.
Ask your doctor if Alecensa is right for you.
Have you been tested for anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) NSCLC?
To establish if you have an ALK+ mutation (gene rearrangement) causing your lung cancer, your doctor can request a special type of test for you that involves analysing a sample of your tumour tissue. This will determine whether Alecensa is likely to be suitable for your cancer type.
Not all patients in New Zealand with NSCLC are tested for the ALK rearrangement. If you’re not sure if you’ve had one of these tests, talk to your doctor who will be able to advise you.
Clinical trial data
The study showed that in the group of people taking Alecensa, their cancer was controlled for more than twice as long (34.8 months), without growing or spreading, compared to people taking crizotinib (10.9 months).
Alecensa was also able to shrink the size of tumours that had spread to the brain in 81% of patients, compared to 50% of patients using crizotinib.
Possible side effects of Alecensa
Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
How to access Alecensa
Paying for treatment requires careful thought. If you have health insurance, carefully check what’s covered — every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and doctor appointments.
Even though Alecensa is only available by paying for it yourself, any doctor is able to prescribe it to you, not just those working in a private hospital setting.
Your doctor will be able to give you more information regarding the cost of your treatment and whether it is suitable for your type of lung cancer.
Ready to take the next step?
Because every situation is different, it’s important to speak to your doctor to find out if Alecensa is right for you.
If you’re now considering treatment with Alecensa
We’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.