Serum Troponin T Concentrations Are Frequently Elevated in Advanced Skin Cancer Patients Prior to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy: Experience From a Single Tertiary Referral Center

Jonas K. Kurzhals, Tobias Graf, Katharina Boch, Ulrike Grzyska, Alex Frydrychowicz, Detlef Zillikens, Patrick Terheyden, Ewan A. Langan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy has revolutionized the treatment of several human malignancies, particularly metastatic skin cancer. However, immune-related myocarditis (irM), an immune-mediated adverse event (irAE), is often fatal. In the absence of a reliable biomarker, measurement of pre-ICI therapy serum troponin concentration has been proposed to identify patients at risk of developing irM, although real-world studies examining this strategy are lacking. Thus, we retrospectively analyzed the case records of all patients who commenced ICI therapy between January 2018 and December 2019 in a single university skin cancer center (n = 121) to (i) determine the incidence of irM, (ii) establish the frequency of pretreatment serum hsTnT elevations, and (iii) to establish whether this identified patients who subsequently developed irM. Only one patient developed irM, resulting in an overall incidence of 0.8%. Pretreatment hsTnT was measured in 47 patients and was elevated in 13 (28%). Elevated serum hsTnT concentrations were associated with chronic renal failure (p = 0.02) and diabetes (p < 0.0002). Pretreatment hsTnT was not elevated in the patient who developed fulminant irM. Pre-immunotherapy serum hsTnT concentrations were often asymptomatically elevated in patients with advanced skin cancer, none of whom subsequently developed irM during ICI therapy. However, large studies are required to assess the positive and negative predictive values of hsTnT for the development of irM. In the meantime, elevated hsTnT concentrations should be investigated before initiation of immunotherapy and closely monitored during early treatment cycles, where the risk of irM is greatest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number691618
JournalFrontiers in medicine
Volume8
Pages (from-to)691618
ISSN2296-858X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05.07.2021

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