Williams Cancer Institute


Acetaminophen is one of the foremost frontline medications in relieving pain and discomfort. It’s relatively safe. It’s the most common and cheapest on the market. Of course, anything in excess can be harmful. A few pills too many or combined with alcohol, and it can cause severe liver failure or death. But is that the only risk it poses? It seems not for Immunotherapy patients.

An increased mortality rate of Immunotherapy patients taking Acetaminophen has led to several researchers conducting studies.

These studies have shown that the hazard (H) to progression-free survival rate (PFS) increases when introducing Acetaminophen. Influenced by Acetaminophen, the immune system upregulates Interleukin-10, an immune-suppressive cytokine that decreases inflammation. It also reduces cell death protein 1 (PD-1), which is involved in the immune system’s T-cell response. This makes it harder for the immune system to detect tumor cells.

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