Dynamic Adaptation of Tumor Immune Response With Nivolumab Demonstrated by 18F-FDG PET/CT
A 61-year-old woman with lung adenocarcinoma failed first-line treatment and was placed on immunotherapy with nivolumab. FDG-PET/CT before immunotherapy showed metastases to thoracic nodes, liver, adrenal gland, and skeleton. Seven weeks after starting nivolumab, FDG-PET/CT showed mild residual activity in thoracic nodes and otherwise complete response. After 15 weeks, enlarged and FDG-avid axillary lymphadenopathy and worsening supraclavicular lymphadenopathy developed. After 20 weeks, FDG-PET/CT demonstrated marked improvement of axillary and supraclavicular lymphadenopathy. This case demonstrates that later progression of disease can still respond to continuing immunotherapy, hypothetically because of dynamic adaptations in the tug-of-war between the immunotherapy-augmented immune system and tumor.