Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are newly approved treatments for advanced malignancies that are increasing survival. The mechanism of these drugs, non-specifically activating T cells, also leads to immune-mediated damage of tissue or immune-related adverse events (IRAE). IRAEs with rheumatic phenotypes are increasingly being recognised. Inflammatory arthritis, sicca syndrome, inflammatory myopathy, vasculitis and lupus nephritis have been described as a result of ICIs. Use of ICIs will be expanding in the coming years for several reasons. ICIs will be used in earlier stage cancer, for more indications, and additional drugs will be approved. The rheumatologist plays a critical role in evaluating and treating these patients. The expertise of rheumatologists in evaluating rheumatic signs and symptoms and treating patients with immunosuppression are critical in ensuring the optimal outcomes for patients with rheumatic IRAE. Collaboration between oncology and rheumatology for clinical care and research will enhance understanding of these new disease entities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy