Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Pneumonitis in Patients Treated With Chemotherapy or Immunotherapy

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, July 27, 2020

According to research presented as part of the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting I (Abstract CT086), patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a medical history of pneumonitis appear to be at increased risk for developing treatment-associated pneumonitis while receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and/or chemotherapy. This association was noted both in clinical trials and in real-world data.

“Additional research (eg, inclusion of [patients] treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors) is warranted to optimize treatment for cancer [in patients with a medical history of pneumonitis],” concluded Qi Liu, PhD, of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and colleagues.

Patients with a history of pneumonitis were identified in eight previous clinical trials comparing immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment with chemotherapies in patients with advanced NSCLC. Real-world data from a community health system were used to identify patients with advanced lung cancer who had been treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors with or without chemotherapy or chemotherapy without radiation therapy.

Treatment-associated pneumonitis appeared more frequently in patients with a history of pneumonitis regardless of the treatment type or data set. In clinical trials, patients who had no history of pneumonitis were more likely to develop the condition when treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors than with chemotherapy. The real-world data showed that 73% of treatment-related pneumonitis cases were as a result of radiation therapy. Overall, similar rates of treatment-associated pneumonitis occurred in both clinical trials and real-world data.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

By continuing to browse this site you permit us and our partners to place identification cookies on your browser and agree to our use of cookies to identify you for marketing. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.