Immunosuppressive therapy management in cancer patients with autoimmune diseases treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors: A case series and systematic literature review

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Prescribing immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) to cancer patients with an autoimmune disease (AID) is presumed safe when cautious adverse event management is applied. However, guidelines on immunosuppressant (IS) adaptations are limited and real-world evidence is scarce.

METHODS: Current practice of IS adaptations is described in a case series of AID patients treated with ICIs in a tertiary university hospital in Belgium (1/1/2016-31/12/2021). Patient, drug and disease-related data were documented using retrospective chart review. A systematic search of the PubMed database was performed to identify similar cases (1/1/2010-30/11/2022).

RESULTS: Sixteen patients were described in the case series (62% with active AID). Systemic IS were changed before ICI initiation in 5/9 patients. Four patients continued therapy, of which one achieved partial remission. Patients who had IS (partially) stopped before ICI start (n = 4) had AID flares in two cases; immune-related adverse events in three cases. In the systematic review, 37 cases were identified in 9 articles. Corticosteroids (n = 12) and non-selective IS (n = 27) were continued in, respectively, 66% and 68% of patients. Methotrexate was frequently discontinued (13/21). Biologicals, excluding tocilizumab and vedolizumab, were withheld during ICI treatment. Out of all patients with flares (n = 15), 47% had stopped IS therapy before ICI start and 53% had continued their AID drugs.

CONCLUSIONS: A detailed overview of IS management in patients with AID receiving ICI therapy is presented. Expanding the knowledge base germane to IS management with ICI therapy in the diverse population is essential to evaluate their mutual impact, thus advancing responsible patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date12 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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