Myasthenia gravis (MG) Lambert-Eaton (LE) overlap syndrome is a rare condition. Here, we describe the first case of MG-LE overlap syndrome revealed by the anti-programmed cell death 1 inhibitor, nivolumab, in a patient treated for metastatic melanoma.
Three months after receiving nivolumab and 1 month after brain metastasis radiotherapy, our patient developed generalized fatigue with intermittent ptosis and swallowing difficulty suggesting a myasthenic syndrome. Electromyogram findings, anti-acetylcholine receptor, and anti-calcium channel antibodies levels were consistent with an immune-related myasthenic syndrome with specific features for both MG and LE syndromes. Immunotherapy with nivolumab was stopped. Patient was treated with systemic immunosuppressive and anti-cholinesterase drugs, with remarkable improvement of his neurological symptoms. Prolonged partial remission was obtained for his metastatic melanoma without need for a third-line treatment. Two years later, a relapse of hismyasthenic symptoms was observed along with new neurological symptoms related to brain radiation necrosis.
We describe the first case of MG-LE overlap syndrome diagnosed after anti-PD1 immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma, which appeared after radiation therapy and then relapsed after brain radiation necrosis. We hypothesized a role for brain inflammation as a trigger for MG-LE onset. Neuro-muscular junctions disease induced or revealed by checkpoint inhibitors can be challenging and requires long-term follow-up.

© 2021. Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia.