Background The use of immunotherapy in the oncological environment has meant a revolution in the management of this pathology. Its effectiveness is based on activating the patient’s immune system through various mechanisms of action. A good safety profile makes its use attractive to oncologists, but there are patients in whom toxicities of relevance can appear.
Purpose To describe the toxicity profile developed by patients in whom some type of immunotherapy has been administered for the treatment of their neoplastic process in a tertiary hospital
Material and methods Seventy-eight-month retrospective study (January 2012–June 2018) in which we analysed all patients who had been prescribed inmunotherapy (Ipilimumab, Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab). The following variables were collected: age, gender, neoplasic process, prescribed drug, time of treatment and toxicities experienced.
Results Fifty-one patients registered, 34 were males (66.7%), mean age 62 years (40–71): 20 patients were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (39%); 19 metastatic or unresectable melanoma (37%); four bladder cancer, (8%); three Hodgkin’s lymphoma (6%), two head and neck cancer (4%); two renal cancer (4%) and one colon cancer (1%). Nine patients received Pembrolizumab (18%), 37 Nivolumab (73%) and five Ipilimumab (10%).
The median time of treatment was 3.05 months (0.7–18.9).
The toxicities considered as immuno-related1 were the following: 12 rash (24%), 10 arthralgia (20%), nine gastrointestinal toxicity (18%), five hypothyroidism (10%) five pruritus (10%), four hepatitis (8%), three myalgia (6%), two ocular toxicity (4%), two skin dryness (4%), two vitiligo (4%), two hyperthyroidism (4%), two thrombocytopaenia (4%), one dry mouth (2%), one pneumonitis (2%), one autoimmune diabetes (2%) and one neuropathy (2%).
Conclusion Immunotherapy is considered a good safety profile treatment, however its use is not toxicity-free. We wanted to show our experience and to indicate the need to familiarise ourselves with the toxicity that they can produce to maximise the benefit of the treatment.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Postow MAI, et al. Immune-related adverse events associated with immune checkpoint blockade. N Engl J Med2018;378:158–68.
No conflict of interest.
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