. 2019 Nov; 98(45):e17832.
doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017832.

Significant response to anti-PD-1 based immunotherapy plus lenvatinib for recurrent intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma with bone metastasis: A case report and literature review

Wei-Xun Chen 1 Gan-Xun Li  Zheng-Nan Hu  Peng Zhu  Bi-Xiang Zhang  Ze-Yang Ding  
  • PMID: 31702638
  •     66 References
  •     18 citations


Introduction: The prognosis for recurrent intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma with bone metastasis remains dismal and its treatment poses a challenge for oncologists. To date, only 2 cases were reported in which pembrolizumab, an agent against programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), combined with chemotherapy led to a complete response. The safety and efficacy of nivolumab-based immunotherapy combined with lenvatinibin intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is unknown.

Patient Concerns: A 40-year-old female was identified as having a lesion of 7.0 cm in diameter in the right lobe of the liver. In addition, calculi in the main and left hepatic bile ducts as well as the gallbladder were found.

Diagnosis: Based on the results of imaging studies and tumor biomarker level, the patient was initially diagnosed as having intrahepatic cholangiocellular carcinoma and cholelithiasis, after which surgery was performed. The pathological examination confirmed that the tumor was cholangiocarcinoma. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered after surgery. However, the patient developed recurrent lesions at the 5th month after surgery, and the cholangiocarcinoma expanded to the right thoracic vertebral pedicle (T7-8) at the 6th month.

Interventions: The patient underwent percutaneous microwave ablation after recurrence in the liver was identified. After that, the patient received nivolumab plus lenvatinib.

Outcomes: The lesions in the liver decreased in size and disappeared after treatment with nivolumab plus lenvatinib. Additionally, the metastases in the right thoracic vertebral pedicle were stable after 9 months of therapy.

Lessons: Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, and advanced renal cell carcinoma. In this case, the patient achieved an excellent radiological and symptomatic response after receiving nivolumab plus lenvatinib combination therapy. Patients suffering from cholangiocarcinoma with dMMR status and a high tumor mutation burden (TMB) may have a consistent eutherapeutic effect with anti-PD-1-directed treatment.

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