Checkpoint immunotherapy for cancer: superior survival, unaccustomed toxicities.
C Gedye, A van der Westhuizen, T John
Internal Medicine Journal | Published : 2015
Novel cancer immunotherapy antibodies are moving from clinical trials into routine practice, delivering sustained benefits and prolonged survival to patients with melanoma, lung, kidney and other cancers. These immunostimulatory antibodies non-specifically activate the patient's own immune system by inhibiting immune system checkpoint proteins. This mechanism of action is entirely different to traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. While there are virtually no immediate toxicities, serious life-threatening autoimmune side-effects such as colitis, dermatitis, hypophysitis, pneumonitis and hepatitis can occur, sometimes starting long after the treatment has been given. Recognitio..View full abstract