Safety and efficacy of PD-1 inhibitors in non–small cell lung cancer patients positive for antinuclear antibodies

Yasuto Yoneshima, Kentaro Tanaka, Yoshimasa Shiraishi, Kojiro Hata, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Taishi Harada, Kohei Otsubo, Eiji Iwama, Hiroyuki Inoue, Satohiro Masuda, Yoichi Nakanishi, Isamu Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the possible effects of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) on the safety and efficacy of programmed cell death–1 (PD-1) inhibitors in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and methods: Clinical data including ANA status were reviewed retrospectively for patients with advanced NSCLC who received monotherapy with a PD-1 inhibitor. Results: Of the 83 patients analyzed, 18 (21.7%) were positive for ANA. The incidence of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) did not differ significantly between patients with ANA (6/18, 33.3%) and those negative for ANA (21/65, 32.3%), although it tended to increase as the ANA titer increased. Progression-free survival (2.9 versus 3.8 months, p = 0.03) and overall survival (11.6 versus 15.8 months, p = 0.03) were significantly shorter in patients positive for ANA than in those without ANA. Conclusion: PD-1 inhibitors can be administered safely in advanced NSCLC patients positive for ANA without obvious exacerbation of autoimmune disease, although patients with a high titer of such antibodies may warrant close monitoring. However, the presence of ANA might be associated with a poor outcome of such treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalLung Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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