Interstitial nephritis in melanoma patients secondary to PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor

Julia Escandon, Stephanie Peacock, Asaad Trabolsi, David B. Thomas, Ayman Layka, Jose Lutzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have become the first line therapy in melanoma treatment and their use is extending to other malignancies. However, we are still learning about immune side effects produced by these drugs and their severity especially in patients with history of inflammatory diseases. Case presentation: We present two cases of metastatic melanoma treated with nivolumab and pembrolizumab (anti PD-1). Both patients developed acute interstitial nephritis during immune checkpoint therapy. We emphasize the causal association between immune checkpoint inhibitors and the nephritis. The timing of drug administration and appearance of nephritis is suggestive of a causal relation between the checkpoint inhibitor therapy and this adverse event. Conclusions: Although uncommon, some side effects from checkpoint inhibitors can be severe and may need to be addressed with immunosuppression. Given the increasing frequency of immunotherapy use, awareness should be raised in regards to immune side effects and their appropriate management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 2017


  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Nivolumab
  • PD-1 ligand (PD-L1)
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Programed death 1 receptor (PD-1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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