Nivolumab, an anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody used as an immune checkpoint inhibitor, is commonly employed for its anti-tumor effects against various types of malignant tumors. However, its administration is complicated by immune-related adverse events (irAEs), including pneumonitis.
We present a case series of four patients with malignant melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and hypopharyngeal carcinoma who demonstrated pneumonitis induced by nivolumab, and further review clinicopathological characteristics of these patients in comparison with those of previously reported patients with nivolumab-induced pneumonitis. In our series, 20% of patients who were treated with nivolumab developed pneumonitis, all of which occurred approximately 2 weeks after the initiation of nivolumab treatment. Prompt recognition of the nivolumab-induced pneumonitis allowed for successful resolution. Computed tomography scan images of the patients demonstrated predominantly cryptogenic organizing pneumonia patterns. All patients were males, who had been heavily treated with antitumor drugs prior to nivolumab.
Our case series showed that nivolumab had a high incidence of drug-induced pneumonitis with early onset, supporting the need for renewed attention to nivolumab-induced pneumonitis, particularly in patients with a history of heavy antitumor treatments.
Nishino M, Giobbie-Hurder A, Hatabu H, Ramaiya NH, Hodi FS. Incidence of programmed cell death 1 inhibitor-related pneumonitis in patients with advanced cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(12):1607-16.
Nishino M, Ramaiya NH, Awad MM, Sholl LM, Maattala JA, Taibi M, Hatabu H, Ott PA, Armand P, Hodi FS. PD-1 inhibitor-related pneumonitis in advanced cancer patients: radiographic patterns and clinical course. Clin Cancer Res. 2016;22(24):6051-60.
- High incidence and early onset of nivolumab-induced pneumonitis: four case reports and literature review
- BioMed Central
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