Adverse Cardiovascular Complications following prescription of programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors: a propensity-score matched Cohort Study with competing risk analysis

Jiandong Zhou, Sharen Lee, Ishan Lakhani, Lei Yang, Tong Liu, Yuhui Zhang, Yunlong Xia, Wing Tak Wong, Kelvin King Hei Bao, Ian Chi Kei Wong, Gary Tse, Qingpeng Zhang

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death- ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors, such as pembrolizumab, nivolumab and atezolizumab, are major classes of immune checkpoint inhibitors that are increasingly used for cancer treatment. However, their use is associated with adverse cardiovascular events. We examined the incidence of new-onset cardiac complications in patients receiving PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors. Methods: Patients receiving PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors since their launch up to 31st December 2019 at publicly funded hospitals of Hong Kong, China, without pre-existing cardiac complications were included. The primary outcome was a composite of incident heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, or atrial flutter with the last follow-up date of 31st December 2020. Propensity score matching between PD-L1 inhibitor use and PD-1 inhibitor use with a 1:2 ratio for patient demographics, past comorbidities and non-PD-1/PD-L1 medications was performed with nearest neighbour search strategy (0.1 caliper). Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analysis models were conducted. Competing risks models and multiple propensity matching approaches were considered for sensitivity analysis. Results: A total of 1959 patients were included. Over a median follow-up of 247 days (interquartile range [IQR]: 72-506), 320 (incidence rate [IR]: 16.31%) patients met the primary outcome after PD-1/PD-L1 treatment: 244 (IR: 12.57%) with heart failure, 38 (IR: 1.93%) with acute myocardial infarction, 54 (IR: 2.75%) with atrial fibrillation, 6 (IR: 0.31%) with atrial flutter. Compared with PD-1 inhibitor treatment, PD-L1 inhibitor treatment was significantly associated with lower risks of the composite outcome both before (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.32, 95% CI: [0.18-0.59], P value=0.0002) and after matching (HR: 0.34, 95% CI: [0.18-0.65], P value=0.001), and lower all-cause mortality risks before matching (HR: 0.77, 95% CI: [0.64-0.93], P value=0.0078) and after matching (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: [0.65-1.00], P value=0.0463). Patients who developed cardiac complications had shorter average readmission intervals and a higher number of hospitalizations after treatment with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in both the unmatched and matched cohorts (P value<0.0001). Multivariable Cox regression models, competing risk analysis with cause-specific and subdistribution hazard models, and multiple propensity approaches confirmed these observations. Conclusions: Compared with PD-1 treatment, PD-L1 treatment was significantly associated with lower risk of new onset cardiac complications and all-cause mortality both before and after propensity score matching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalCardio-Oncology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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