Grace Gawler - Helping You Navigate the Cancer Maze

Prevalence of Immunotherapy Side Effects

Immune-Related Adverse Events (irAEs)

MD Anderson USA – Immunotherapy Side Effects:

If you’ve researched cancer treatment options, you’ve probably heard of immunotherapy, which trains the immune system to attack cancer, rather than attacking the cancer directly.

You also might’ve heard that immunotherapy causes fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

But that’s not always the case.

More than 60% of patients who receive some form of immunotherapy will also develop side effects.

Some of those will be severe enough to interrupt or halt their cancer treatments. Read More:

Immune-Related Adverse Events (irAEs)

irAEs have been shown to occur in up to 90% of patients undergoing CTLA-4 inhibitor therapy and 70% of those undergoing PD-1 and/or PDL1 inhibitor therapy.

A majority of irAEs occur in the induction phase, usually within the first 12 weeks of initiating therapy, although reactions manifesting after 1 year have been observed. irAE risk has been shown to have a dose-dependent relationship for CTLA-4 inhibitors, but this has not been consistently observed in PD-1 and/or PD-L1 inhibitors.
Combinations of PD-1 and CTLA-4 inhibitors with nivolumab and ipilimumab have also demonstrated higher irAE rates compared with those of respective monotherapies in patients with advanced melanoma.   Read More

These adverse events can be temporary or chronic, mild or life-threatening, and may involve nearly any organ system.