Targeted Oncology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 509–515 | Cite as

Coronary Toxicities of Anti-PD-1 and Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapies: a Case Report and Review of the Literature and International Registries

  • Marion FerreiraEmail author
  • Eric Pichon
  • Delphine Carmier
  • Emilie Bouquet
  • Cécile Pageot
  • Theodora Bejan-Angoulvant
  • Marion Campana
  • Emmanuelle Vermes
  • Sylvain Marchand-Adam
Therapy in Practice


Immunotherapy medications that target programmed death 1 protein (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), such as nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and atezolizumab, are currently used in the first- or second-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancers, among other indications. However, these agents are associated with immune-related side effects, the most common of which are endocrinopathies, colitis, hepatitis, and interstitial pneumonitis. In contrast, coronary toxicities are rarely reported and remain poorly understood. Here, we describe the case of a patient who developed an acute coronary syndrome when treated with nivolumab as second-line therapy for metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinoma. A review of the literature, the French pharmacovigilance registry, and the World Health Organization pharmacovigilance database led to the identification of four cases of patients with coronary manifestations attributable to anti-PD1 immunotherapy (with no reported cases of patients undergoing anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy), which we describe herein. The potential mechanisms causing adverse coronary reactions to this type of therapy, which is used to treat lung cancer as well as other solid and hematological neoplastic diseases, are also discussed.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No external funding was used in the preparation of this manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

Marion Ferreira, Eric Pichon, Delphine Carmier, Emilie Bouquet, Cécile Pageot, Theodora Bejan-Angoulvant, Marion Campana, Emmanuelle Vermes, and Sylvain Marchand-Adam declare that they have no conflicts of interest that might be relevant to the contents of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Ferreira
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eric Pichon
    • 1
  • Delphine Carmier
    • 1
  • Emilie Bouquet
    • 3
  • Cécile Pageot
    • 4
  • Theodora Bejan-Angoulvant
    • 5
    • 6
  • Marion Campana
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Vermes
    • 7
  • Sylvain Marchand-Adam
    • 1
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Pneumology and Respiratory Functional ExplorationUniversity Hospital of ToursToursFrance
  2. 2.La RicheFrance
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Regional Pharmacovigilance CenterUniversity Hospital of ToursToursFrance
  4. 4.Regional Pharmacovigilance Center of BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  5. 5.Medical Pharmacology DepartmentUniversity Hospital of ToursToursFrance
  6. 6.GICC UMR CNRS 7292, Faculty of Medicine of ToursFrançois Rabelais UniversityToursFrance
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital of ToursToursFrance
  8. 8.INSERM U-1100, Faculty of Medicine of ToursFrançois Rabelais UniversityToursFrance

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