Two recent studies from US now describe the use of immunotherapy in ESRD patients. Though both are case studies and series, this is encouraging data.
One study comes from Boston published in AJKD, with a database search leading to 18 patients: overall, six patients (32%) experienced irAEs and two (11%) experienced an irAE of grade 3/4 toxicity (pneumonitis, myocarditis).
Another study from New York published in Kidney 360, with a database search lead to 8 patients: only 2 patients (25%) experienced irAEs overall. A literature review done in that paper also found another 26 patients have previously been described in the literature, with the majority of
them from Italy and China. Interestingly, 27%
of these patients were on dialysis as a result of a rejected kidney transplant due to ICI therapy,
and then continued to receive ICI. Over 80% of the patients had either partial or complete
response to treatment. Aside from the kidney transplant rejection preceding dialysis, a minimal
number of patients had a grade 2, 3, or 4 adverse immunotherapy related event (15%). In the general population, between 40-60% of patients receiving ICIs experience irAEs at some point during therapy.
Again, due to smaller numbers, we cannot be sure the effects of ICI in ESRD patients but it appears that the rate of irAEs appears similar to general population.
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