Vol 69, No 6 (2018)
Review paper
Published online: 2018-12-20

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Endocrine complications of cancer immunotherapy

Aleksandra Król1, Tomasz Gawlik1, Barbara Jarząb1
Pubmed: 30618030
Endokrynol Pol 2018;69(6):722-733.


Immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies — checkpoint inhibitors — is a dynamically evolving discipline of clinical oncology and a new hope for patients with advanced and disseminated cancer. However, the activation of T-lymphocytes can at the same time lead to autoimmune response and destruction of healthy organs, which is a serious adverse effect that can also affect the endocrine system. Here we present possible endocrine complications of immunotherapy with contemporary inhibitors of immune checkpoints (CTLA-4, PD-1, PD-L1/L2), their frequency, symptoms, and proposed grade-dependent treatment.Failure to diagnose endocrine pathology can in adverse circumstances lead to treatment failure and condemn the patient’s fate. Due to tremendous progress in cancer immunotherapy during the last few years and an increase in the number of treated patients, endocrinologists should become acquainted with the specificity of this mode of oncological treatment.

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