68-year old patient with hemorrhagic irGastritis
21 months after initiation of the immunotherapy (IT) and 3 months after switching to combinational IT the patient experienced a hypophysitis that was substituted with hydrocortisone. 1 month later she presented with severe nausea, weight loss and dysphagia. During the following hospitalisation a CTCAE grade 3 hemorrhagic irGastritis and a concomittant CTCAE grade 2 irHepatitis were diagnosed, both with histological confirmation.
Pantoprazol 40 mg twice a day was given and prednisolone was initiated at 1 mg/kg body weight and transaminases decreased. Due to steroidrefractory dysphagia and nausea, we planned a therapy with infiximab at 5 mg/kg body weight. Already 3 days after the infliximab-infusion the dysphagia improved and the nausea ceased.
We interrupted the immunotherapy and monitored the patient closely. We decided due to the severity of the immune related adverse event and the current stable disease to interrupt the treatment until the next staging. Afterwards we will discuss a rechallenge interdisciplinarily.
Gastrointestinal irAEs are common (22-48%) (Heinzerling, L. et al. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2019). However, solitary upper gastrointestinal events have been rarely reported. In general, an early therapy with infliximab in steroidrefractory gastrointestinal irAEs showed a quicker resolution (Johnson DH et al. J Immunother Cancer 2018) and is recommended in patients with persisting symptoms after 3-5 days (Haanen JBAG et al. Ann Oncol 2017). Escalation of immunosuppression with infliximab worked well and rapidly to treat irGastritis in this patient.
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