BACKGROUND: The response to immunotherapy can be impaired by several factors including external intervention such as drug interactions with immune system. We aimed to examine the immunomodulatory action of opioids, since immune cells express opioid receptors able to negatively influence their activities.METHODS: This observational, multicenter, retrospective study, recruited patients with different metastatic solid tumors, who have received immunotherapy between September 2014 and September 2019. Immunotherapy was administered according to the standard schedule approved for each primary tumor and line of treatment. The concomitant intake of antibiotics, antifungals, corticosteroids and opioids were evaluated in all included patients. The relationship between tumor response to immunotherapy and the oncological outcomes were evaluated. A multivariate Cox-proportional hazard model was used to identify independent prognostic factors for survival.RESULTS: One hundred ninety-three patients were recruited. Overall, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly shorter in those patients taking opioids than in those who didn't (median PFS, 3months vs. 19months, HR 1.70, 95% CI 1.37-2.09, p<0.0001; median OS, 4months vs. 35months, HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.26-2.02, p<0.0001). In addition, PFS and OS were significantly impaired in those patients taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antifungals, in those patients with an ECOG PS≥1 and in patients with a high tumor burden. Using the multivariate analyses, opioids and ECOG PS were independent prognostic factors for PFS, whereas only ECOG PS resulted to be an independent prognostic factor for OS, with trend toward significance for opioids as well as tumor burden.DISCUSSION: Our study suggests that the concomitant administration of drugs as well as some clinical features could negatively predict the outcomes of cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. In particular, opioids use during immunotherapy is associated with early progression, potentially representing a predictive factor for PFS and negatively influencing OS as well.CONCLUSIONS: A possible negative drug interaction able to impair the immune response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents has been highlighted. Our findings suggest the need to further explore the impact of opioids on immune system modulation and their role in restoring the response to immunotherapy treatment, thereby improving patients' outcomes.

The role of opioids in cancer response to immunotherapy / Botticelli, Andrea; Cirillo, Alessio; Pomati, Giulia; Cerbelli, Bruna; Scagnoli, Simone; Roberto, Michela; Gelibter, Alain; Mammone, Giulia; Calandrella, Maria Letizia; Cerbelli, Edoardo; Di Pietro, Francesca Romana; De Galitiis, Federica; Lanzetta, Gaetano; Cortesi, Enrico; Mezi, Silvia; Marchetti, Paolo. - In: JOURNAL OF TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 1479-5876. - 19:1(2021).

The role of opioids in cancer response to immunotherapy

Botticelli, Andrea
Co-primo
;
Cirillo, Alessio
Co-primo
;
Pomati, Giulia
;
Cerbelli, Bruna;Scagnoli, Simone;Roberto, Michela;Gelibter, Alain;Mammone, Giulia;Calandrella, Maria Letizia;Cerbelli, Edoardo;Di Pietro, Francesca Romana;De Galitiis, Federica;Cortesi, Enrico;Mezi, Silvia
Penultimo
;
Marchetti, Paolo
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The response to immunotherapy can be impaired by several factors including external intervention such as drug interactions with immune system. We aimed to examine the immunomodulatory action of opioids, since immune cells express opioid receptors able to negatively influence their activities.METHODS: This observational, multicenter, retrospective study, recruited patients with different metastatic solid tumors, who have received immunotherapy between September 2014 and September 2019. Immunotherapy was administered according to the standard schedule approved for each primary tumor and line of treatment. The concomitant intake of antibiotics, antifungals, corticosteroids and opioids were evaluated in all included patients. The relationship between tumor response to immunotherapy and the oncological outcomes were evaluated. A multivariate Cox-proportional hazard model was used to identify independent prognostic factors for survival.RESULTS: One hundred ninety-three patients were recruited. Overall, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly shorter in those patients taking opioids than in those who didn't (median PFS, 3months vs. 19months, HR 1.70, 95% CI 1.37-2.09, p<0.0001; median OS, 4months vs. 35months, HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.26-2.02, p<0.0001). In addition, PFS and OS were significantly impaired in those patients taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antifungals, in those patients with an ECOG PS≥1 and in patients with a high tumor burden. Using the multivariate analyses, opioids and ECOG PS were independent prognostic factors for PFS, whereas only ECOG PS resulted to be an independent prognostic factor for OS, with trend toward significance for opioids as well as tumor burden.DISCUSSION: Our study suggests that the concomitant administration of drugs as well as some clinical features could negatively predict the outcomes of cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. In particular, opioids use during immunotherapy is associated with early progression, potentially representing a predictive factor for PFS and negatively influencing OS as well.CONCLUSIONS: A possible negative drug interaction able to impair the immune response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents has been highlighted. Our findings suggest the need to further explore the impact of opioids on immune system modulation and their role in restoring the response to immunotherapy treatment, thereby improving patients' outcomes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1529260
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