Immunotherapy, namely checkpoint inhibition, is being increasingly recognised as an effective treatment against cancer. Along with this comes a novel side effect profile, different to that of traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy.
Checkpoint inhibitors like Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, act by reactivating or increasing the body’s own T-cell population, enhancing the immune systems own ability to recognise and fight cancer cells. This mechanism of action can result in side effects termed 'Immune Related Adverse Events' that are inflammatory and autoimmune in nature. Management of such side effects reflect the inflammatory nature, often involving corticosteroids.
Interdisciplinary Management Guidelines have been created to guide health professionals treating patients with mild, moderate or severe immune related adverse events, found as an appendix within each BCCA Chemotherapy Protocol for Immunotherapy.