Dermatologic Infections in Cancer Patients Treated with Checkpoint Inhibitors


eMediNexus    12 August 2022

The purpose of a recent study was to identify the incidence of dermatologic infections in patients who received checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs).

This was a retrospective review of dermatologic infections in patients who received CPIs from 2005 to 2020 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Out of a total of 2,061 patients; 1,292 were actively receiving CPIs while 769 had previously been on CPIs. It was observed that the dermatologic infection rate was markedly higher in patients with active CPI treatment (17.5%) than in patients without active CPI treatment (8.2%). In patients on active CPI treatment, 82, 78 and 48 had bacterial, fungal and viral infections, respectively, and 18 had polymicrobial infections. The highest risk of infection was imposed by anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 monotherapy.

It was inferred that patients actively receiving CPIs are more prone to dermatologic infections while anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 monotherapy predisposes them to the highest risk. Thus, these patients must be screened for the occurrence of infections to minimize morbidity and optimize care.

Source: Do MH, Barrios DM, Phillips GS, et al. Dermatologic infections in cancer patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2021;85(6):1528-36. 

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