Lazarus-type tumour response to therapy with nivolumab for sarcomatoid carcinomas of the lung

C. Roesel, K. Kambartel, U. Kopeika, A. Berzins, T. Voshaar, T. Krbek


Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma (psc) is a rare subtype of non-small-cell lung carcinoma with a poor prognosis and poor response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A previous study reported that psc expresses high levels of PD-L1, suggesting the potential efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in these tumours. We report 2 cases of patients with a lung sarcomatoid carcinoma. Both patients initially underwent curative lung resection, but developed early recurrent disease. Because PD-L1 was highly expressed in the tumour cells, we initiated therapy with nivolumab, which showed good efficacy, almost complete radiologic tumour remission, and a remarkable improvement in the condition of those patients. Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 might be a valuable therapy option for pscs.


Sarcomatoid carcinoma; lung cancer; immunotherapy; PD-L1 expression

Full Text:



Copyright © 2019 Multimed Inc.
ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)