In the past decade, ERBB2 (formerly HER2)–directed antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have substantially changed treatment of both advanced and early-stage ERBB2-positive breast cancer. Novel conjugates are now showing activity in trials of other ERBB2-associated tumors, leading to the recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of trastuzumab deruxtecan for ERBB2-positive gastric cancer, as well as beneficial results in colorectal, lung, and bladder cancer. It is thus possible that anti-ERBB2 ADCs may become a treatment option for multiple types of tumors because many have at least some expression of ERBB2. Despite an improved overall therapeutic index, clinical observations have recently raised a concern regarding potential lung toxicity of anti-ERBB2 ADCs. Deaths related to interstitial lung disease (ILD) have been reported with variable incidence in trials testing anti-ERBB2 conjugates, warranting appropriate training of clinicians for the identification and management of this toxic effect.
Although no specific guidelines are available for the diagnosis and management of ADC-related ILD, some recommendations can be derived based on general principles adopted for drug-induced and immunotherapy-related ILD. Overall, in symptomatic ILD, the ADC should be discontinued. Reintroduction of the conjugate can be considered only in asymptomatic cases after complete resolution. Corticosteroids represent the cornerstone of ILD treatment, and dosing should be adapted according to the severity of the event. Additional treatments can be considered based on the clinical scenario.
Conclusions and Relevance
This review summarizes the current knowledge on the pathogenesis and epidemiologic characteristics of anti-ERBB2 ADC-related lung toxicity, proposing strategies for its diagnosis and treatment. Earlier diagnosis and more adequate treatment of ADC-induced ILD may improve the therapeutic index of this important class of anticancer agents, allowing for a safe expansion of anti-ERBB2 ADCs across tumor types.
Tarantino P, Modi S, Tolaney SM, et al. Interstitial Lung Disease Induced by Anti-ERBB2 Antibody-Drug Conjugates: A Review. JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(12):1873–1881. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.3595
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