In recent years, research involving inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors has focused on the search for factors that influence prognosis. One area of study is the role of the ALKgene in the development of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors. Approximately 50% of these tumors have a rearrangement of the ALK gene, which causes the gene to be more active than normal. Researchers are trying to determine how the tumors that have this rearrangement differ from those that do not have the ALK rearrangement.
Coffin CM, Hornick JL, Fletcher CD. Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor: comparison of clinicopathologic, histologic, and immunohistochemical features including ALK expression in atypical and aggressive cases. American Journal of Surgical Pathology. April 2007; 31(4):509-520. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17414097.