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Original article

Vol. 154 No. 3 (2024)

Pembrolizumab-associated anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis in a patient with lung cancer: a first case report

Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2024;154:3513


We report the first case of anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5)-positive dermatomyositis as a systemic immune-related adverse event in a 64-year-old man receiving pembrolizumab to treat advanced lung cancer. The patient experienced hypothyroidism, myalgia, skin involvement, dyspnoea and diarrhoea. Laboratory tests revealed raised inflammatory markers, hypercreatinekinasemia and anti-MDA5 autoantibodies. Electroneuromyography and pathognomonic signs on physical examination confirmed the diagnosis of pauci-myopathic dermatomyositis. Pembrolizumab was discontinued and immunosuppressive therapy led to rapid and progressive improvement, with complete remission of dermatomyositis. This case report widens the spectrum of systemic immune-related adverse events associated with pembrolizumab.


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