ICIR: Immune checkpoint inhibition in renal transplant patients

Malignancy is a significant adverse event in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTR).

The overall risk of developing cancer has been reported to be 2 – and 4 – fold higher compared to the general population.

Some cancer types are overrepresented in patients with SOTR, especially non-melanoma skin cancer.

Moreover they may have a more aggressive behavior and an increased risk of metastasis and death in SOTR.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have revolutionized the treatment of cancer, with remarkable survival benefit. SOTR have been excluded from clinical trials owing to concerns about alloimmunity, organ rejection, and concomitant immunosuppressive therapy.

ICIR is a Belgian-led multicenter study, that is currently recruiting patients in 6 Belgian and 4 French centres.

The aim of the ICIR study is to comprehend allograft rejection in renal transplant recipients with cancer treated with ICI.

To achieve this aim we will set up an international registry of renal transplant patients treated with ICI for cancer and create a biocollection composed of blood, urine and tissue samples.

With a combined approach of immune cell phenotyping, transcriptomic analysis and immunostaining techniques of tissue, biomarkers of rejection and/or response to treatment will be identified. This study will be realized in close collaboration with the Centre de Recherche en Transplantation et Immunologie (CRTI) laboratorium of Pr. Sophie Brouard in Nantes.

The study will hopefully allow us to inform patients about the risk of rejection before administrating of ICI.

These results could be extrapolated to other organ transplants (liver, heart and lung) in the future.


For more information, please contact Dr. Tess Van Meerhaeghe, nephrologist at the Erasme hospital in Brussels, who is taking the lead in this study in the context of her PhD. ([email protected]).

Your collaboration is much appreciated since the scarcity of these patients.



Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of immune related adverse events due to immune checkpoint inhibitors can be found on the BSMO Immunomanager site: https://www.bsmo.be/immunomanager/start/

A bimonthly expert meeting is organized to discuss immune related adverse events of these molecules, the Belgian Multidisciplinary Immunotoxicity Board (BITOX). Cases of nephrotoxicity can be presented. Information is found on the following website: https://www.bsmo.be/multidiscplin-immunotox-meeting/

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