Background Whether influenza vaccination (FV) is associated with the severity of immune-related adverse events (IRAEs) in patients with advanced thoracic cancer on immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is not fully understood. Methods Patients enrolled in this retrospective cohort study were identified from the Vanderbilt BioVU database and their medical records were reviewed. Patients with advanced thoracic cancer who received FV within 3 months prior to or during their ICI treatment period were enrolled in the FV-positive cohort and those who did not were enrolled in the FV-negative cohort. The primary objective was to detect whether FV is associated with decreased IRAE severity. The secondary objectives were to evaluate whether FV is associated with a decreased risk for grade 3–5 IRAEs and better survival times. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression was used for the primary analysis. Results A total of 142 and 105 patients were enrolled in the FV-positive and FV-negative cohorts, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in patient demographics or cumulative incidences of IRAEs between the two cohorts. In the primary analysis, FV was inversely associated with the severity of IRAEs (OR 0.63; p=0.046). In the secondary analysis, FV was associated with a decreased risk for grade 3–5 IRAEs (OR 0.42; p=0.005). Multivariable Cox regression showed that FV was not associated with survival times. Conclusions Our study showed that FV does not increase toxicity for patients with advanced thoracic cancer on ICIs and is associated with a decreased risk for grade 3–5 IRAEs. No statistically significant survival differences were found between patients with and without FV.
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