Organizing pneumonia resembling disease progression in a non-small-cell lung cancer patient receiving ceritinib: A case report

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Echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK), a distinct molecular entity, is highly sensitive to ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as crizotinib or ceritinib. Interstitial lung disease is a rare (1.2%) pulmonary toxicity that can result from ALK TKIs, however, organizing pneumonia has not been reported to date.

Patient concerns:

A 45-year-old Korean female with ALK-rearranged metastatic lung adenocarcinoma underwent ceritinib treatment and exhibited a partial response, until she developed organizing pneumonia resembling disease progression.


Multiple rebiopsies confirmed the involvement of organizing pneumonia in the pathology.


Ceritinib was stopped and the patient was treated with intravenous antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics for two weeks.


After recovering from organizing pneumonia, ceritinib was successfully rechallenged and the patient attained a complete response.


When a new mass-like lesion develops in the lungs of responding patients, benign lung conditions, including organizing pneumonia should be considered in differential diagnoses.

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