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Cancers (Basel) ; 15(1)2022 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239437


Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy has significantly improved outcomes across a range of malignancies. While infections are a well-known contributor to morbidity and mortality amongst patients receiving systemic chemotherapy regimens, little is known about the impact of infections on patients receiving ICI therapy. This study aims to assess incidence, risk factors, and outcomes in patients who develop infections while on pembrolizumab-based therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: Patients receiving pembrolizumab for stage III/IV NSCLC from 1/1/2017-8/1/2021 across seven hospitals were identified. Incidence and type of infection were characterized. Covariates including baseline demographics, treatment information, treatment toxicities, and immunosuppressive use were collected and compared between infected and non-infected patients. Outcomes included the rate of infections, all-cause hospital admissions, median number of treatment cycles, overall survival (OS), and progression free survival (PFS). Univariable and multivariable analysis with reported odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were utilized to evaluate infection risks. OS and PFS were analyzed by Kaplan−Meier analysis and tested by log-rank test. p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: There were 243 NSCLC patients that met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 111 (45.7%) had one documented infection, and 36 (14.8%) had two or more. Compared to non-infected patients, infected patients had significantly more all-cause Emergency Department (ED) [37 (33.3%) vs. 26 (19.7%), p = 0.016], hospital [87 (78.4%) vs. 53 (40.1%), p < 0.001], and ICU visits [26 (23.4%) vs. 5 (3.8%), p < 0.001], and had poorer median OS (11.53 [95% CI 6.4−16.7] vs. 21.03 [95% CI: 14.7−24.2] months, p = 0.033). On multivariable analysis, anti-infective therapy (OR 3.32, [95% CI: 1.26−8.76], p = 0.015) and ECOG of >1 (OR 5.79, [95% CI 1.72−19.47], p = 0.005) at ICI initiation conferred an increased risk for infections. At last evaluation, 74 (66.7%) infected and 70 (53.0%) non-infected patients died (p = 0.041). Conclusion: Infections occurred in nearly half of patients receiving pembrolizumab-based therapies for NSCLC. Infected patients had frequent hospitalizations, treatment delays, and poorer survival. ECOG status and anti-infective use at ICI initiation conferred a higher infection risk. Infection prevention and control strategies are needed to ameliorate the risk for infections in patients receiving ICIs.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis ; 12(1): e2020044, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854283


The emergence and spread of 2019 novel coronavirus have led to an unprecedented public health crisis around the globe, threatening the lives of millions of people. We report a severe case of COVID-19 in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and describe primarily the clinical presentation and the challenges encountered in the COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and specimens sampling pitfalls. This case highlights the importance of a comprehensive diagnostic approach of pneumonia in immunocompromised hosts, including timely and safe bronchoscopy, because of the broad differential diagnosis, more challenging with the current outbreak of COVID-19.