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Adam J. Widman, Bevin Cohen, Vivian Park, Tara McClure, Jedd Wolchok, and Mini Kamboj

Background: Whether COVID-19 vaccination and the associated immune response increases susceptibility to immune-related adverse events (irAEs) among patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) remains unknown. Short-term follow-up can assess the safety of concurrent administration of the vaccine and ICI treatment. Methods: We conducted an electronic health record analysis of a cohort of 408 patients with cancer receiving ICI therapy and who were vaccinated for COVID-19 between January 16 and March 27, 2021. Patients were seen in follow-up for 90 days from the day of the first dose in this single-institution tertiary care center. We evaluated the incidence of irAEs and the frequency of each event type and grade among patients who experienced an irAE. We also evaluated the incidence of irAEs in patients who began a new immunotherapy agent after vaccination. Results: Among 408 patients with cancer receiving ICI therapy (median age, 71 years; 217 [53%] male), administration of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine within 90 days of ICI treatment was not associated with an increased incidence of irAEs. A total of 27 (7%) patients experienced a new irAE within the observation period. Among patients with previous irAEs from ICIs (n=54), 3 (6%) experienced a recurrent irAE, and of those initiating a new immunotherapy (n=52), 9 (17%) experienced an irAE. No excess risk of COVID-19 diagnosis was seen in this subset of patients receiving ICI therapy, and no breakthrough COVID-19 cases were seen after full COVID-19 vaccination. Conclusions: These findings should reassure providers that COVID-19 vaccination during ICI therapy is safe and efficacious.

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Jaffer A. Ajani, Thomas A. D’Amico, David J. Bentrem, Joseph Chao, Carlos Corvera, Prajnan Das, Crystal S. Denlinger, Peter C. Enzinger, Paul Fanta, Farhood Farjah, Hans Gerdes, Michael Gibson, Robert E. Glasgow, James A. Hayman, Steven Hochwald, Wayne L. Hofstetter, David H. Ilson, Dawn Jaroszewski, Kimberly L. Johung, Rajesh N. Keswani, Lawrence R. Kleinberg, Stephen Leong, Quan P. Ly, Kristina A. Matkowskyj, Michael McNamara, Mary F. Mulcahy, Ravi K. Paluri, Haeseong Park, Kyle A. Perry, Jose Pimiento, George A. Poultsides, Robert Roses, Vivian E. Strong, Georgia Wiesner, Christopher G. Willett, Cameron D. Wright, Nicole R. McMillian, and Lenora A. Pluchino

Abstract

Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common histology in Eastern Europe and Asia, and adenocarcinoma is most common in North America and Western Europe. Surgery is a major component of treatment of locally advanced resectable esophageal and esophagogastric junction (EGJ) cancer, and randomized trials have shown that the addition of preoperative chemoradiation or perioperative chemotherapy to surgery significantly improves survival. Targeted therapies including trastuzumab, ramucirumab, and pembrolizumab have produced encouraging results in the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic disease. Multidisciplinary team management is essential for all patients with esophageal and EGJ cancers. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Esophageal and Esophagogastric Junction Cancers focuses on recommendations for the management of locally advanced and metastatic adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and EGJ.

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Jaffer A. Ajani, Thomas A. D’Amico, David J. Bentrem, Joseph Chao, David Cooke, Carlos Corvera, Prajnan Das, Peter C. Enzinger, Thomas Enzler, Paul Fanta, Farhood Farjah, Hans Gerdes, Michael K. Gibson, Steven Hochwald, Wayne L. Hofstetter, David H. Ilson, Rajesh N. Keswani, Sunnie Kim, Lawrence R. Kleinberg, Samuel J. Klempner, Jill Lacy, Quan P. Ly, Kristina A. Matkowskyj, Michael McNamara, Mary F. Mulcahy, Darryl Outlaw, Haeseong Park, Kyle A. Perry, Jose Pimiento, George A. Poultsides, Scott Reznik, Robert E. Roses, Vivian E. Strong, Stacey Su, Hanlin L. Wang, Georgia Wiesner, Christopher G. Willett, Danny Yakoub, Harry Yoon, Nicole McMillian, and Lenora A. Pluchino

Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Over 95% of gastric cancers are adenocarcinomas, which are typically classified based on anatomic location and histologic type. Gastric cancer generally carries a poor prognosis because it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Systemic therapy can provide palliation, improved survival, and enhanced quality of life in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. The implementation of biomarker testing, especially analysis of HER2 status, microsatellite instability (MSI) status, and the expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), has had a significant impact on clinical practice and patient care. Targeted therapies including trastuzumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab have produced encouraging results in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. Palliative management, which may include systemic therapy, chemoradiation, and/or best supportive care, is recommended for all patients with unresectable or metastatic cancer. Multidisciplinary team management is essential for all patients with localized gastric cancer. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Gastric Cancer focuses on the management of unresectable locally advanced, recurrent, or metastatic disease.