Atypical skin manifestations during immune checkpoint blockage in COVID19-infected lung cancer patients

Lung Cancer

Rolfo C, et al. J Thorac Oncol 2020.


A new coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has rapidly spread around the world since its first reported case in late December of 2019 from Wuhan, China. As of mid-April 2020, this virus has affected more than 180 countries and territories, infecting more than 1,650,000 individuals and causing over 100.000 deaths. With ≈20 million new cases per year globally, cancer affects a significant portion of the population. Individuals affected by cancer are more

susceptible to infections due to coexisting chronic diseases (cardiovascular, pulmonary and diabetes), overall poor health status, and systemic immunosuppressive states caused by both cancer and anticancer treatments. As a consequence, patients with malignancies, and especially with lung cancer who develop COVID19 experience more difficult outcomes. A recent multicenter study developed by the Hubei Anti-Cancer Association also documented that lung cancer patients had an increased risk of death, ICU requirement, risk of presenting severe or critical symptoms, and use of invasive mechanical ventilation. Here we present two representative cases of patients with lung cancer and COVID19 without respiratory compromise and with atypical and severe skin manifestations, findings that could be influenced by the chronic use of anti-PD1 antibodies.