Combination of Pembrolizumab With Platinum-containing Chemotherapy for Pleomorphic Carcinoma of the Lung

In Vivo. 2020 May-Jun;34(3):1439-1443. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11926.


Background/aim: Pleomorphic carcinoma of the lung is a rare, highly malignant subtype of lung cancer, with a more aggressive clinical course compared with other types of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Platinum-containing chemotherapy has been the standard therapy for patients with NSCLC and pembrolizumab is one of the novel and reliable agents for these patients.

Case report: We herein report the case of a 60-year-old man with advanced chemo-naïve pleomorphic carcinoma of the lung who was successfully treated with a combination of pembrolizumab with platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Conclusion: In the absence of definitive clinical trials, which are unlikely to be performed due to the rarity of this tumor, our case demonstrates the potential utility of the combination of pembrolizumab with platinum-containing chemotherapy. Our result also suggest that this combination of therapy may be key to the treatment of pleomorphic carcinoma of the lung.

Keywords: Combination chemotherapy; immune checkpoint inhibitor; lung; pembrolizumab; pleomorphic carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Complex and Mixed / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Complex and Mixed / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Complex and Mixed / mortality
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • pembrolizumab