Checkpoint Inhibition & Autoimmunity

Cancer immunotherapy may increase risk of developing rheumatologic disorders

Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins University researchers have found a link between cancer immunotherapy drugs and an increased risk of developing rheumatologic disorders, which they expect to only be exacerbated as their use increases. They conducted what’s thought to be the largest published study of patients taking i…

Figure 1

The goal of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer is not new; it dates back 125 years to when William Coley advocated that the body’s response to…
Although the checkpoint inhibitors are called targeted therapies, they are not specific. They bind specifically to the cellular receptors they are designed to bind, but they non-specifically up-regulate all activated T-cells regardless of their recognised targets.
So, all’s good if most of the strongly activated T-cells recognise and hunt down the tumour cells or infected cells; not good (disastrous even) if T-cells sensitised to self-antigens go on the rampage. Autoimmunity is the result.

Arthritis Emerges After Cancer Immunotherapy

In cancer treatment, a novel type of adverse effect

Cancer immunotherapy-induced rheumatic diseases emerge as new clinical entities

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are newly approved treatments for advanced malignancies that are increasing survival. The mechanism of these drugs,…

Original Article from The New England Journal of Medicine — Fulminant Myocarditis with Combination…

Combination checkpoint inhibitors work better against cancer, but the autoimmune side-effects are worse.

Immune System, Unleashed by Cancer Therapies, Can Attack Organs

Immunotherapy drugs have been hailed as a breakthrough in cancer treatment, but doctors are finding that what makes them effective is also what poses serious risks.|By Matt Richtel