Pembrolizumab is a humanized antibody used in the therapy of a wide range of cancers, like melanoma, lung cancer, stomach cancer, and head & neck cancer. But the safety and efficacy of pembrolizumab patients with HIV and advanced cancer are not known. This study aims to determine the safety of pembrolizumab in patients with HIV and advanced cancer.

This nonrandomized, open-label, multicenter, phase 1 trial included a total of 30 participants with HIV and advanced cancer. The patients were assigned to receive pembrolizumab 200 mg administered intravenously. The primary objective of this study was safety and tolerability.

The researchers observed safety over 183 cycles of treatment with pembrolizumab. Grade 1 and 2 events were commonly attributed to pembrolizumab. The immune-related events of clinical interest (irECI) included pneumonitis, pneumonitis, and rash. A musculoskeletal event and an elevated aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase level were also reported. The best tumor responses included complete response (lung), partial response (NHL), stable disease (KS), and progressive disease. One patient with pretreatment KS herpesvirus viremia was died during the treatment due to the development of polyclonal KSHV-associated B-cell lymphoproliferative.

The research concluded that pembrolizumab had an acceptable safety profile in patients with HIV and advanced cancer.