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Glomerular diseases after immune checkpoint inhibitors use: What do We know so far?

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journal contribution
posted on 24.11.2022, 09:20 authored by Xue He, Fei Liu, Yanyan Jin, Haidong Fu, Jianhua Mao

The research and application of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have enormously promoted the progression of tumor treatment. Gradual implementation of ICIs in clinical practice is largely limited as they exert uncontrolled collateral effects on the immune system, such as immune-related adverse events (irAEs); this includes rarely reported glomerular diseases. This study aimed to describe the clinical and pathological manifestation of ICIs-induced glomerular diseases and focused on the mechanism and therapeutic strategy for glomerular diseases associated with ICIs. The data of 53 patients with glomerular diseases related to ICIs were retrieved from the PubMed database. The most frequently reported ICIs-related glomerular diseases were pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (28.3%), podocytopathies (26.4%), and immune-complex glomerulonephritis (18.9%). Moreover, anti-PD1 antibodies were the most commonly used ICIs (71.4%). Most patients receiving ICIs discontinued the treatment (89.4%) and were initiated with steroids (87.2%). Rituximab was also useful in the treatment, especially for renal vasculitis. Rechallenging ICIs could be considered for cancer progression or as salvage therapy, where rechallenging ICI therapy with steroids may be beneficial. We believe the treatment should be personalized based on the degree of renal pathology, serum creatinine (Scr), and tumor progression to obtain a good prognosis.


This work was supported by Grant U20A20351 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Grant 2021C03079 from Key Research and Development Plan of Zhejiang Province.