Williams Cancer Institute

Typical Side Effects or Autoimmune Related Events with Immune Checkpoint Therapy

Typical Side Effects or Autoimmune Related Events with Immune Checkpoint Therapy


The following reactions are among the most common side effects or autoimmune related events experienced by patientswho undergo immune checkpoint therapy:

Fatigue
Skin rash, itching, vitiligo, dry mouth Diarrhea/colitis
Liver toxicity/hepatitis
Pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung) Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid) Hypophysitis (inflammation of the pituitary) Adrenal Insufficiency
Diabetes

In addition to these reactions, some of the more rare side effects below may become more common in the future with new drugs or combinations. These may include neurological issues and cardiac toxicity. These thankfully seem rare, but when they do occur, they can be very severe. We often do a cardiac evaluation on patients prior to treatment, with monitoring of cardiac enzymes via periodic lab tests after they start treatment.

Again, these are some of the more common issues, but not a complete list. If you are being treated with immunotherapy, do not hesitate to discuss any concerns with your doctor.

Reference: Jason R. Williams, 15 Oct 2019, The Immunotherapy Revolution: The Best New Hope For Saving Cancer Patients’ Lives, https://williamscancerinstitute.com/the-immunotherapy-revolution

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