BMC Pulmonary Medicine (Dec 2022)

Clinical outcomes and risk factor of immune checkpoint inhibitors-related pneumonitis in non-small cell lung cancer patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Zhu Zeng,
  • Jingjing Qu,
  • Yake Yao,
  • Fei Xu,
  • Shan Lu,
  • Pei Zhang,
  • Yinan Yao,
  • Ning Li,
  • Jianying Zhou,
  • Yuehong Wang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1
pp. 1 – 11


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Abstract Objectives: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the most common co-morbidity associated with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Immune checkpoint inhibitors related pneumonitis (CIP) is a common immune-related adverse event that can be life-threatening. The study aims to evaluate the association of COPD with the incidence and outcome of CIP in NSCLC patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Materials and methods: We retrospectively collected data from 122 patients diagnosed with NSCLC and treated with ICIs in our department. Baseline pulmonary function was performed in the whole cohort. The incidence, risk factors, treatment and outcome of CIP patients were evaluated. Furthermore, the efficacy of ICIs in patients with COPD was analyzed. Results: Nineteen patients (15.5%, 19/122) developed CIP during ICIs treatment, most patients with CIP were grade 1–2, and the incidence of CIP was comparable in patients with COPD and those without COPD (18.0% vs. 13.1%, P = 0.618). In addition, an increasing trend in the incidence of CIP among patients with pulmonary fibrosis on baseline chest CT scans (27.3% vs. 13.0%, P = 0.093). There is a longer progression-free survival in COPD patients than the non-COPD patients. Conclusion: Coexisting COPD did not predict the higher risk of CIP in NSCLC treated with ICIs therapy. Nevertheless, pre-existing pulmonary fibrosis on CT scan may increase the risk of CIP, close monitoring is advised in these patients during ICIs.