In an immune-competent context nivolumab showed long-term benefit in overall survival in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); however, in special cancer population such as these patients with immunodeficiency and viral infections, data on checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) activity are scant. Herein, we report a patient with a Human papilloma virus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) and CD4 lymphocytopenia. After a first-line treatment complete remission, the patient experienced Human Polyomavirus (JCV) infection in the brain. Consequently, to the recovery from progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) the patient metastasized and was enrolled in a single-arm trial with nivolumab (EudraCT number: 2017-000562-30). A complete and durable response (more 3 years) was observed after 10 nivolumab injections Q2wks, interrupted for persistent drug related G2 diarrhea and a syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. We describe the circulating immune profile (before-, during-, and after nivolumab), consistent with the clinical history. Moreover, during nivolumab treatment, brain MRI evidenced the presence of small punctuate areas of contrast enhancement, reflecting a mild immune response in perivascular spaces. By cytofluorimetry, we observed that during JCV infection the CD4/CD8 ratio of the patient was under the normal values. After JCV infection recovery and before nivolumab treatment, CD4/CD8 ratio reached the normality threshold, even if the CD4+ T cell count remained largely under the normal values. During ICI, gene expression xCell analyses of circulating immune cells of the patient, showed a progressive normalization of the total immune profile, with significant boost in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and a reduction in NK T, comparable to the circulating immune profile of reference tumor-free HNSCC patients. The present case supports the activity of ICI in a population of special cancer patients; whether JCV and HPV infections (alone or together) might have a possible role as immune booster(s), require further investigations.

Complete Response to Nivolumab in Recurrent/Metastatic HPV-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patient After Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: A Case Report / L.D. Locati, M.S. Serafini, A. Carenzo, S. Canevari, F. Perrone, E. Orlandi, S. Delbue, S. Cavalieri, G. Berzeri, A. Pichiecchio, L.F. Licitra, E. Marchioni, L. De Cecco. - In: FRONTIERS IN ONCOLOGY. - ISSN 2234-943X. - 11(2022 Jan 10), pp. 799453.1-799453.11. [10.3389/fonc.2021.799453]

Complete Response to Nivolumab in Recurrent/Metastatic HPV-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patient After Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: A Case Report

F. Perrone;S. Delbue;L.F. Licitra;
2022-01-10

Abstract

In an immune-competent context nivolumab showed long-term benefit in overall survival in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); however, in special cancer population such as these patients with immunodeficiency and viral infections, data on checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) activity are scant. Herein, we report a patient with a Human papilloma virus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) and CD4 lymphocytopenia. After a first-line treatment complete remission, the patient experienced Human Polyomavirus (JCV) infection in the brain. Consequently, to the recovery from progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) the patient metastasized and was enrolled in a single-arm trial with nivolumab (EudraCT number: 2017-000562-30). A complete and durable response (more 3 years) was observed after 10 nivolumab injections Q2wks, interrupted for persistent drug related G2 diarrhea and a syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. We describe the circulating immune profile (before-, during-, and after nivolumab), consistent with the clinical history. Moreover, during nivolumab treatment, brain MRI evidenced the presence of small punctuate areas of contrast enhancement, reflecting a mild immune response in perivascular spaces. By cytofluorimetry, we observed that during JCV infection the CD4/CD8 ratio of the patient was under the normal values. After JCV infection recovery and before nivolumab treatment, CD4/CD8 ratio reached the normality threshold, even if the CD4+ T cell count remained largely under the normal values. During ICI, gene expression xCell analyses of circulating immune cells of the patient, showed a progressive normalization of the total immune profile, with significant boost in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and a reduction in NK T, comparable to the circulating immune profile of reference tumor-free HNSCC patients. The present case supports the activity of ICI in a population of special cancer patients; whether JCV and HPV infections (alone or together) might have a possible role as immune booster(s), require further investigations.
case report; HNSCC; HPV; immunotherapy; oropharynx; PML
Settore MED/07 - Microbiologia e Microbiologia Clinica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/903187
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