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04 February 2020 : Case report  Japan

Febrile Neutropenia in a Patient with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with the Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitor Nivolumab

Adverse events of drug therapy

Yasushi Hisamatsu1ABCDEF*, Ryotaro Morinaga1A, Erina Watanabe2A, Satoshi Ohtani2A, Kuniaki Shirao3AF

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.920809

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e920809


BACKGROUND: Nivolumab is a human IgG4 monoclonal antibody against human programmed cell death 1 (PD-1). It has demonstrated efficacy against metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Treatment with nivolumab is sometimes associated with immune-related adverse events (ir AEs) in patients. These specific ir AEs include pneumonitis, hypothyroidism, dermatitis, enterocolitis, hepatitis, and neuropathy. However, hematological toxicity is rare.

CASE REPORT: A 57-year-old man with lung adenocarcinoma, with brain and adrenal gland metastases, was therefore started on nivolumab therapy as third-line treatment. After administration of the second dose with nivolumab, grade 3 febrile neutropenia (FN) and grade 2 liver dysfunction developed in the patient. The patient was started to on intravenous antibiotics, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and corticosteroids. Neutrophil counts and liver function gradually improved, and corticosteroids were tapered over 6 weeks. However, the patient was re-treated with G-CSF because the neutrophil counts decreased again.

CONCLUSIONS: Care needs to be taken with such patients because neutropenia due to treatment with nivolumab can recur, as well as other ir AEs.

Keywords: agranulocytosis, febrile neutropenia, Adenocarcinoma of Lung, Adrenal Gland Neoplasms, Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor, Liver Diseases, Methylprednisolone, Nivolumab, Prednisolone

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923