Targeted therapies can lead to a glomerular disease. Previously, two reviews didn’t find any glomerular diseases associated with BRAF inhibitors and PD-1 inhibitors. In the last 6 months, 3 recent papers have highlighted interesting cases of both BRAF-MEK combination and PD-1 inhibitors leading to glomerular diseases.
Pembrolizumab ( PD-1 inhibitor)- Minimal Change Disease
Dabrafenib, BRAF inhibitor and tramitinib( MEK inhibitor)- Podocytopathy- like MCD
While the PD-1 inhibitor case is the first of it’s kind, we must be mindful of GN in these patients as well. In terms of the BRAF+MEK combo, both authors of the above listed papers. Showed that it was the BRAF inhibition that decreased PLCε1 expression in podocytes, accompanied by a reduction in nephrin expression and an increase in permeability to albumin. Additionally, these drugs inhibited the podocyte–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) system leading to perhaps a component of TMA as well.