Immune-related (IR)-pneumonitis is a rare and potentially fatal toxicity of anti-PD(L)1 immunotherapy. Expert guidelines for the diagnosis and management of IR-pneumonitis include multidisciplinary input from medical oncology, pulmonary medicine, infectious disease, and radiology specialists. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a recently recognized respiratory virus that is responsible for causing the COVID-19 global pandemic. Symptoms and imaging findings from IR-pneumonitis and COVID-19 pneumonia can be similar, and early COVID-19 viral testing may yield false negative results, complicating the diagnosis and management of both entities. Herein, we present a set of multidisciplinary consensus recommendations for the diagnosis and management of IR-pneumonitis in the setting of COVID-19 including: (1) isolation procedures, (2) recommended imaging and interpretation, (3) adaptations to invasive testing, (4) adaptations to the management of IR-pneumonitis, (5) immunosuppression for steroid-refractory IR-pneumonitis, and (6) management of suspected concurrent IR-pneumonitis and COVID-19 infection. There is an emerging need for the adaptation of expert guidelines for IR-pneumonitis in the setting of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a multidisciplinary consensus on this topic, in this position paper.
Keywords: autoimmunity; guidelines as topic; immunotherapy.
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