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12.06.2018 | short review | Ausgabe 2/2018 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 2/2018

Management of adverse events related to checkpoint inhibition therapy

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 2/2018
OA Dr. Jakob Daniel Rudzki


IO treatments (immuno-oncology treatments) have become reality and are now daily practice or, in some cases, a daily challenge. New recommendations are being made with the prime purpose of increasing alertness and awareness as well as emphasizing standard operating strategies to deal with immune-related adverse events (ir-AEs) in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). This brief review refers to systemic reviews, guidelines and meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials and case series published from 2000 to the present. Existing recommendations for optimal management of toxicities vary according to organ systems affected and grading. Grade 1 toxicities (exception to the rule: neurologic, hematologic, cardiac manifestation) require close monitoring. Grade 2 toxicities prompt immediate treatment interruption combined with corticosteroid administration (prednisone or methylprednisolone 0.5–1 mg/kg/day) until the symptoms revert to grade 1 or less. ir-AEs up to grade 3 or 4 justify suspension of treatment together with increased dosage of prednisone or methylprednisolone (1–2 mg/kg/day) combined with close monitoring to continuously adapt the current immunosuppressive strategy. In some cases, a different additional immunosuppressive agent has to be evaluated. Only when all symptoms have disappeared and immunosuppressive treatment produces a response can all immunosuppressive agents be tapered. Endocrinopathies are the exception to the rule and are mostly controllable by hormone replacement, at least in low-grade manifestation. This short review focuses on the main aspects that help manage immune-related side-effects and elucidates all the additional aspects surrounding and contributing to successful treatment and management of cancer patients.

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