Hypothyroidism is a relatively common complication of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treatment. The objective of this study was to determine whether the addition of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-1) or programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) inhibition (anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy) to standard treatment increases the risk of hypothyroidism in HNSCC.
Retrospective Cohort.
This is a retrospective, single institutional cohort study. Patients who received radiotherapy (RT) for HNSCC were identified in the electronic medical record. Patient factors collected include age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol use, Charlson comorbidity index, and HNSCC treatment records. The rate of hypothyroidism for patients with HNSCC receiving RT (+/- chemotherapy and surgery) (RT group, n = 101) was compared to that of HNSCC patients receiving RT (+/- chemotherapy and surgery) + anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy, either concurrently or after RT (RT + anti-PD-1/PD-L1 group, n = 38).
There was no significant difference in the rate of clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism between the two groups. Multinomial logistic regression found no significant difference in hypothyroidism based on age, sex, or BMI.
The addition of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy to standard HNSCC treatment does not significantly increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism.
3 Laryngoscope, 2021.