Compassionate Use of Tocilizumab for Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia.

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Compassionate Use of Tocilizumab for Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia.

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 23;:

Authors: Jordan SC, Zakowski P, Tran HP, Smith EA, Gaultier C, Marks G, Zabner R, Lowenstein H, Oft J, Bluen B, Le C, Shane R, Ammerman N, Vo A, Chen P, Kumar S, Toyoda M, Ge S, Huang E

BACKGROUND: Preliminary data from SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients indicate that a cytokine storm may increase morbidity and mortality. Tocilizumab (anti-IL-6R) is FDA-approved for treatment of cytokine storm associated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Here we examined compassionate use of tocilizumab in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.
METHODS: We report on a single-center study of tocilizumab in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. All patients had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and oxygen saturations <90% on oxygen support with most intubated. We examined clinical and laboratory parameters including oxygen and vasopressor requirements, cytokine profiles, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels pre- and post-tocilizumab treatment.
RESULTS: Twenty seven SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients received one 400 mg dose of tocilizumab. IL-6 was the predominant cytokine detected at tocilizumab treatment. Significant reductions in temperature and CRP were seen post-tocilizumab. However, four patients did not show rapid CRP declines, of whom three had poorer outcomes. Oxygen and vasopressor requirements diminished over the first week post-tocilizumab. Twenty-two patients required mechanical ventilation; at last follow-up, 16 were extubated. Adverse events and serious adverse events were minimal, but two deaths (7.4%) occurred that were felt unrelated to tocilizumab.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to published reports on the morbidity and mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2, tocilizumab appears to offer benefits in reducing inflammation, oxygen requirements, vasopressor support, and mortality. The rationale for tocilizumab treatment is supported by detection of IL-6 in pathogenic levels in all patients. Additional doses of tocilizumab may be needed for those showing slow declines in CRP. Proof of efficacy awaits randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

PMID: 32575124 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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