Identification of novel ALK rearrangements in gynecologic clear cell carcinoma

Chen Yang, Lingxin Zhang, Latisha Love-Gregory, Lulu Sun, Ian S. Hagemann, Dengfeng Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Clear cell carcinomas (CCCs) of the gynecologic tract are aggressive tumors with high resistance rate to conventional platinum-based chemotherapies. Currently, the molecular features of these tumors remain largely unknown and there is no targeted therapy available. The aim of our study was to identify anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocations, a potential molecular target for therapy. Ninety-seven patients with gynecologic CCC (62 ovarian, 27 uterine corpus and 8 uterine cervical) were screened for ALK rearrangement and ALK copy number gain using an ALK break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization probe. The genomic landscape of all cases with ALK rearrangements and 10 random cases with ALK copy number gain was queried using a hybrid capture-based DNA next-generation sequencing assay and an Illumina Fusion RNA assay. Findings were then correlated with ALK immunohistochemistry (clone D5F3) expression. ALK rearrangement was detected in 5% (5/97) and ALK copy number gain in 79% (77/97) of gynecologic CCCs. Next-generation sequencing in ALK-rearranged CCCs identified a novel BABAM2-ALK fusion in one case. ALK translocation partners were not identified in the remaining cases. Our findings show that ALK fusion, which is targetable in other cancers, may be a pathogenetic mechanism in a small number of gynecologic CCCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-468
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021


  • ALK
  • clear cell carcinoma
  • gynecology
  • oncology
  • targeted therapy


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