After the COVID-19 outbreak, non-evidence based guidelines were published to advise clinicians on the adjustment of oncological treatment during this pandemic. As immune checkpoint inhibitors directly affect the immune system, concerns have arisen about the safety of immunotherapy during this pandemic. However, data on the immune response in oncology patients treated with immunotherapy are still lacking. Here, we present the adaptive immune response in a SARS-CoV-2 infected patient who was treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced renal cell cancer. To evaluate the immune response in this patient, the number of T cells and their major subsets were measured according to expression of markers for co-signalling, maturation, and chemotaxis at baseline, during therapy, and during the SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, plasma samples were analyzed for IgM and IgG antibodies and the ability of these antibodies to neutralise SARS-CoV-2. Despite several risk factors for an impaired immune response to SARS-CoV-2, both T- and B-cell responses were observed. Moreover, after treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, a sufficient cellular and humoral immune response was achieved in this SARS-CoV-2 infected patient. These findings warrant renewed discussion on withholding of immune checkpoint inhibitors during an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Frontiers in Immunology
Department of Medical Oncology

de Joode, K. (K.), Oostvogels, A.A.M. (A. A.M.), Geurts van Kessel, C.H, de Vries, R.D. (R. D.), Mathijssen, A.H.J, Debets, J.E.M.A, & van der Veldt, A.A.M. (2021). Case Report: Adequate T and B Cell Responses in a SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patient After Immune Checkpoint Inhibition. Frontiers in Immunology, 12. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.627186