Use of omalizumab is associated with improvement of pruritic skin disorders induced by immune checkpoint inhibitors: A retrospective cohort from the European Task Force of Dermatology for Cancer Patients
Pruritus is the main symptom associated with immune-related adverse events and can significantly impact the patient's quality of life and adherence to antineoplastic treatment. Omalizumab has shown potential effects as an off-label therapy for immune checkpoint inhibitors-associated pruritus. A multicentric retrospective study within the European Task Force for Cancer Patients was conducted. The study included 20 patients undergoing ICI therapy that developed cutaneous immune-related adverse events with refractory pruritus despite several attempts including systemic antihistamine and corticosteroids. The results showed that compassionate use of omalizumab effectively reduced pruritus in cutaneous immune-related adverse events, with a response rate of 70%, as well as associated sleep disturbances. Most responders (11/14) had eczematous and/or bullous pemphigoid presentations. The majority of patients (16/20) were able to continue their antineoplastic treatment and the need for systemic corticosteroids was reduced. Omalizumab could be a good alternative for managing refractory immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced pruritus, improving patient quality of life and treatment compliance.