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Toxicities Associated With PD-1/PD-L1 Blockade

Wang, Daniel, Y.; Johnson, Douglas, B.; Davis, Elizabeth, J.

doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000296
Review Articles

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, particularly those targeting PD-1/PD-L1, produce durable responses in a subset of patients across cancer types. Although often well tolerated, these agents can induce a broad spectrum of autoimmune-like complications that may affect any organ system. Treatment of these toxicities primarily consists of immune suppression with corticosteroids and other agents. This review briefly discusses the mechanisms of immune-related adverse events, overviews the clinical and pathologic features of major toxicities caused by PD-1/PD-L1 blockade, and reviews their management.

From the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: D.B.J. serves on advisory boards for BMS, Genoptix, Incyte, Merck, and Novartis and receives research-related funding from Incyte. D.B.J. is supported by the NIH/NCI (K23 CA204726) and the James C. Bradford Jr. Melanoma Fund. For the remaining authors, none were declared.

Reprints: Douglas B. Johnson, 777 PRB, 2220 Pierce Ave, Nashville, TN 37232. E-mail:

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