open access

Vol 18, No 6 (2022)
Case report
Published online: 2022-10-03
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COVID-19 infection during treatment with pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma

Magdalena Wójcik-Superczyńska1
DOI: 10.5603/OCP.2022.0023
·
Oncol Clin Pract 2022;18(6):406-409.
Affiliations
  1. Department of Pneumonology, Oncology and Allergology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

open access

Vol 18, No 6 (2022)
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2022-10-03

Abstract

The use of pembrolizumab with chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an opportunity for patients to suppress their disease and increase their chances of life extension. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) vaccination is an opportunity for cancer patients to reduce their risk of disease and have a benign disease course. In this report, we present a benign course of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection in 68-year-old patient with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma undergoing chemoimmunotherapy who had previously received full COVID-19 vaccination. The control CT scans performed after 3 months of treatment showed partial regression of the tumor mass. On control tomography after 6 months, an intensification of fibro-consolidative changes and ground glass opacities were described. The lesions were characteristic of a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The neoplastic lesions described on tomography showed stabilization. After 9 months, long-term stabilization of the disease was achieved. Patients undergoing immunotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy may be at risk of developing severe COVID-19. Therefore, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 should be strongly recommended in lung cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy. 

Abstract

The use of pembrolizumab with chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an opportunity for patients to suppress their disease and increase their chances of life extension. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) vaccination is an opportunity for cancer patients to reduce their risk of disease and have a benign disease course. In this report, we present a benign course of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection in 68-year-old patient with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma undergoing chemoimmunotherapy who had previously received full COVID-19 vaccination. The control CT scans performed after 3 months of treatment showed partial regression of the tumor mass. On control tomography after 6 months, an intensification of fibro-consolidative changes and ground glass opacities were described. The lesions were characteristic of a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The neoplastic lesions described on tomography showed stabilization. After 9 months, long-term stabilization of the disease was achieved. Patients undergoing immunotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy may be at risk of developing severe COVID-19. Therefore, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 should be strongly recommended in lung cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy. 

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Keywords

non-small cell lung cancer; COVID-19; pembrolizumab; immunotherapy

About this article
Title

COVID-19 infection during treatment with pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 18, No 6 (2022)

Article type

Case report

Pages

406-409

Published online

2022-10-03

Page views

574

Article views/downloads

67

DOI

10.5603/OCP.2022.0023

Bibliographic record

Oncol Clin Pract 2022;18(6):406-409.

Keywords

non-small cell lung cancer
COVID-19
pembrolizumab
immunotherapy

Authors

Magdalena Wójcik-Superczyńska

References (7)
  1. Gandhi L, Rodríguez-Abreu D, Gadgeel S, et al. KEYNOTE-189 Investigators. Pembrolizumab plus Chemotherapy in Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2018; 378(22): 2078–2092.
  2. Rodríguez-Abreu D, Powell SF, Hochmair MJ, et al. Updated Analysis From KEYNOTE-189: Pembrolizumab or Placebo Plus Pemetrexed and Platinum for Previously Untreated Metastatic Nonsquamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2020; 38(14): 1505–1517.
  3. https://www.esmo.org/covid-19-and-cancer/covid-19-vaccination1.
  4. Yu J, Ouyang W, Chua MLK, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Patients With Cancer at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Wuhan, China. JAMA Oncol. 2020; 6(7): 1108–1110.
  5. Zhou F, Yu T, Du R, et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2020; 395(10229): 1054–1062.
  6. Ballaz S, Mulshine JL. The potential contributions of chronic inflammation to lung carcinogenesis. Clin Lung Cancer. 2003; 5(1): 46–62.
  7. Addeo A, Obeid M, Friedlaender A. COVID-19 and lung cancer: risks, mechanisms and treatment interactions. J Immunother Cancer. 2020; 8(1).

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