Clinical presentation of cardiac symptoms following treatment with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes: diagnostic challenges and lessons learned.



Within our TIL patient population, seven illustrative cases were chosen from the patients who developed symptoms suspected of severe cardiotoxicity: myocarditis, myocardial infarction, peri-myocarditis, atrial fibrillation, acute dyspnea, and two cases of heart failure. An overview of their clinical course, diagnostics carried out, and management of the symptoms is provided.


This single-center, retrospective study included selected patients who experienced TIL treatment-related cardiac symptoms at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. In addition, 12 patients were included who received TIL in the clinical trial setting without experiencing cardiac symptoms, from whom complete cardiac biomarker follow-up during treatment was available [creatine kinase (CK), CK-myocardial band, troponin T and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide].


In the absence of evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of TIL therapy-associated cardiotoxicity, we provided an overview of literature, case descriptions, and recommendations for diagnosis and management to help physicians in daily practice, as the number of patients qualifying for TIL treatment is rapidly increasing.


Treatment with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is rapidly evolving for patients with solid tumors. Following metastasectomy, TILs (autologous, intratumoral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with the potential to recognize tumor-associated antigens) are isolated and non-specifically expanded ex vivo in the presence of interleukin-2 (IL-2). Subsequently, the TILs are adoptively transferred to the patients after a preconditioning non-myeloablative, lymphodepleting chemotherapy regimen, followed by administration of high-dose (HD) IL-2. Here, we provide an overview of known cardiac risks associated with TIL treatment and report on seven patients presenting with cardiac symptoms, all with different clinical course and diagnostic findings during treatment with lymphodepleting chemotherapy, TIL, and HD IL-2, and propose a set of clinical recommendations for diagnosis and management of these symptoms.

More about this publication

ESMO open
  • Volume 9
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 102383
  • Publication date 01-02-2024

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