Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and dermatomyositis associated with anti-programmed cell death 1 therapy.


Journal Article

Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) blockade has rapidly emerged as an effective therapy for a wide variety of metastatic malignancies. It has been associated with multiple immune-related adverse effects, including cutaneous eruptions. We describe two patients with clinical and histological findings that were consistent with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) after receiving PD-1 inhibitor therapy for metastatic lung cancer. We successfully treated our first patient with systemic and topical steroids, photoprotection and hydroxychloroquine. However, he subsequently developed dermatomyositis after continuing PD-1 inhibitor therapy. Our second patient presented with a protracted course of a cutaneous eruption in spite of discontinuation of anti-PD-1 therapy and treatment with systemic corticosteroids and infliximab. This patient's SCLE resolved after the addition of topical steroids and photoprotection and discontinuation of anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy. She and her oncology team decided to pursue non-PD-1 inhibitor treatment for lung cancer owing to a lack of tumour response. We add SCLE and dermatomyositis to the growing list of autoimmune complications of PD-1 blockade. Our cases raise a number of questions, particularly in relation to the viability of continuing anti-PD-1 therapy after developing SCLE and the role of immunosuppressive therapy in patients with PD-1 inhibitor-associated connective tissue disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marano, AL; Clarke, JM; Morse, MA; Shah, A; Barrow, W; Selim, MA; Hall, RP; Cardones, AR

Published Date

  • September 23, 2018

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 30244487

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30244487

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2133

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-0963

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/bjd.17245


  • eng