Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2020

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2020;31(3):355-7
Arthritis and Myositis in a Patient Treated with Programmed Cell Death-1 (PD-1) Inhibitor Pembrolizumab for Lung Cancer
Authors Information

1. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology and 2. Department of Oncology, University General Hospital of Larissa, School of Health Sciences University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece

Eleni Pagkopoulou, Theodora Simopoulou, Athanasios Kotsakis, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a new class of drug that have demonstrated efficacy across many cancer types. Because of their nature and mode of action, ICIs unleash immune activation raising concerns as to whether they can be used in patients with concomitant autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. Their usage can lead to the development of autoimmune phenomena known as immune related adverse events (irAEs), virtually affecting every organ. As the use of ICIs is drastically increasing, evidence of irAEs has been accumulating. Herein, we report a case of inflammatory myositis and arthritis 6 months after pembrolizumab therapy, an anti-programmed death-1 (PD1) ICI in a patient with lung cancer, aiming at raising awareness of the diagnostic and clinical challenges clinicians may face when checkpoint inhibitors-related rheumatologic irAEs are developed.

Article Submitted: 17 Mar 2020; Revised Form: 17 Jun 2020; Article Accepted: 30 Jun 2020; Available Online: 30 Sep 2020


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

©Pagkopoulou E, Simopoulou T, Maragkouli E, Perifanou-Sotiri S, Kotsakis A, Bogdanos DP.