Multiorgan failure caused by pembrolizumab and axitinib in a woman affected by metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma: A case report and literature review.

Treatment with a combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) (pembrolizumab or nivolumab) and oral Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKI) targeting angiogenesis (axitinib, cabozantinib or lenvatinib) has shown benefits in terms of efficacy and survival in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), with a favorable toxicity profile. However, some rare and serious treatment-related adverse events can be difficult to manage.

Here we report the first case of an mRCC patient who, after only 2 administrations of pembrolizumab-axitinib, experienced severe multiorgan failure (MOF) with heart failure, oliguria and acute hepatitis requiring aggressive supportive treatment in intensive care unit.

A diagnosis of severe MOF induced by pembrolizumab plus axitinib was considered.

The patient was treated with dobutamine, levosimendan along with high-dose steroids under continuous cardiologic monitoring.

After treatment, the patient had a full recovery and was discharged from the hospital.

We reviewed all the other cases of MOF reported during treatment with combined ICI-TKI in cancer patients in order to summarize incidence, clinical manifestations and management with a specific focus on the need for prompt recognition and aggressive management under multidisciplinary care.

Medicine. 2024 Mar 29 [Epub]

Andrea Di Marco, Grazia Artioli, Adolfo Favaretto, Nicolò Cavasin, Umberto Basso

Medical Oncology 1 Unit, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV IRCCS, Padua, Italy., Department of Medical Oncology, AULSS 2 Marca Trevigiana, Ca' Foncello Hospital, Treviso, Italy.