Inflammatory Myositis in Cancer Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
To estimate the incidence of immune checkpoint inhibitor–related myositis (ICI-myositis) in cancer patients receiving ICIs, and to report associated clinical manifestations, patterns of care, and outcomes.
We identified a retrospective cohort of patients receiving ICIs between 2016 and 2019 seen at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cases of ICI-myositis were identified using International Classification of Disease codes and confirmed by reviewing medical records and pathology, as available.
A total of 9,088 patients received an ICI. Thirty-six patients (0.40%) were identified as having ICI-myositis: 17 patients (47%) with ICI-myositis alone and 19 (53%) with overlap manifestations (5 patients with myocarditis, 5 with myasthenia gravis, and 9 with both). The incidence of ICI-myositis was 0.31% in those receiving ICI monotherapy and 0.94% in those receiving combination ICI therapy (relative risk 3.1 [95% confidence interval 1.5–6.1]). Twenty-five patients (69%) received ≥1 treatment in addition to glucocorticoids: plasmapheresis in 17 patients (47%), intravenous immunoglobulin in 12 (33%), and biologics in 11 (31%). Patients with overlap conditions had worse outcomes than those with myositis alone, and 79% of them developed respiratory failure. Eight patients died as a result of ICI-myositis, and all had overlap syndrome with myasthenia gravis or myocarditis (P < 0.05); 75% of these patients had a concomitant infection.
ICI-myositis is a rare but severe adverse event. More than half of the patients presented with overlap manifestations and had deleterious outcomes, including respiratory failure and death. None of the patients with ICI-myositis alone died as a result of adverse events. Optimal treatment strategies have yet to be determined.
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