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Manifestation of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus during treatment with anti-PD-1 antibody cemiplimab - a case report.

Frontiers in immunology

Authors: Simon Fietz, Anne Fröhlich, Cornelia Mauch, Luka de Vos-Hillebrand, Tanja Fetter, Jennifer Landsberg, Friederike Hoffmann, Judith Sirokay

INTRODUCTION: The anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) antibody cemiplimab has shown promising results in the treatment of unresectable or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, however, frequently leads to immune-related adverse events limiting therapy efficacy. Although cutaneous side effects are common, only very few cases of cutaneous lupus erythematosus have been reported under anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. So far, no case of cutaneous lupus has been described under treatment with cemiplimab.

CASE REPORT: For the first time, we report the case of a patient with advanced squamous cell carcinoma, who developed clinical and histological findings in sun-exposed skin that were consistent with anti-SS-A/Ro antibody-positive subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) under treatment with cemiplimab. Additionally, laboratory chemical analyses revealed a severe immune-related hepatitis without clinical symptoms. Both, the SCLE and the hepatitis, resolved after the administration of topical and systemic steroids and the discontinuation of anti-PD-1 therapy.

CONCLUSION: Treatment with cemiplimab can be associated with the appearance of cutaneous lupus erythematosus in sun-exposed areas. Application of topical and systemic glucocorticoids can lead to a rapid resolution of the skin eruptions. Moreover, our case illustrates the possibility of simultaneously occurring severe immune-related adverse events. This highlights the importance of additional diagnostics to avoid overlooking additional immune-related adverse events.

Copyright © 2023 Fietz, Fröhlich, Mauch, de Vos-Hillebrand, Fetter, Landsberg, Hoffmann and Sirokay.

PMID: 38143738

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