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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011795

Neurologic Adverse Events of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Systematic Review.

02 Mar 2021-Neurology (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health))-Vol. 96, Iss: 16, pp 754-766
Abstract: OBJECTIVE To define the clinical characteristics, management, and outcome of neurologic immune-related adverse events (n-irAEs) of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). METHODS Systematic review of the literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. RESULTS A total of 694 articles were identified. Two hundred fifty-six articles, with 428 individual patients, met the inclusion criteria. Reports regarding neuromuscular disorders (319/428, 75%) were more frequent than those on CNS disorders (109/428, 25%). The most common n-irAEs reports were myositis (136/428, 32%), Guillain-Barre syndrome and other peripheral neuropathies (94/428, 22%), myasthenic syndromes (58/428, 14%), encephalitis (56/428, 13%), cranial neuropathies (31/428, 7%), meningitis (13/428, 3%), CNS demyelinating diseases (8/428, 2%), and myelitis (7/428, 2%). Other CNS disorders were detected in 25/428 (6%) patients. Compared with the whole sample, myasthenic syndromes were significantly more Ab positive (33/56, 59%; p < 0.001). Anti-programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 was more frequent in myasthenic syndromes (50/58, 86%; p = 0.005) and less common in meningitis (2/13, 15%; p < 0.001) and cranial neuropathies (13/31, 42%; p = 0.005). Anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 ICIs were more frequent in meningitis (8/13, 62%; p < 0.001) and less common in encephalitis (2/56, 4%; p = 0.009) and myositis (12/136, 9%; p = 0.01). Combination of different ICIs was more frequent in cranial neuropathies (12/31, 39%; p = 0.005). Melanoma was more frequent in patients with peripheral neuropathies (64/94, 68%; p = 0.003) and less common in encephalitis (19/56, 34%; p = 0.001). The highest mortality rate was reached in myasthenic syndromes (28%). CONCLUSION Considering the increasing use of ICI therapy in the forthcoming future, this information can be valuable in assisting neurologists and oncologists in early n-irAEs diagnosis and treatment.

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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011812
Tova M. Gardin1, Erin E. Longbrake1Institutions (1)
20 Apr 2021-Neurology
Abstract: In 2010, a novel agent, ipilimumab, demonstrated improved survival rates in patients with previously untreatable metastatic melanoma.1 Ipilimumab was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 and launched a class of pharmaceuticals that would come to be known as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Normally, the immune system monitors developing malignancies as they acquire progressive mutations and eliminates them through a process of immunoediting or immune surveillance.2 Select tumors learn to coopt self-tolerance mechanisms (immune checkpoints) to evade this immune detection. ICIs inhibit these negative regulators of T-cell activation, unleashing an unchecked immune response. Because this response is not specific to tumor antigens, a host of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) can ensue. Neurologic irAEs are rare3 but provide diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. They also offer important insights into the mechanisms of autoimmunity.

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Topics: Immune checkpoint (63%), Ipilimumab (55%), Immune system (52%) ... read more

1 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S00415-021-10870-6
Abstract: As the use of cancer immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is expanding rapidly for the treatment of many tumor types, it is crucial that both neurologists and oncologists become familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of neurological immune-related adverse events (n-irAEs). These are rare complications, developing in their severe forms in only 1-3% of the patients, but are highly relevant due to their mortality and morbidity burden. The diagnosis of n-irAEs is-however-challenging, as many alternative diagnoses need to be considered in the complex scenario of a patient with advanced cancer developing neurological problems. A tailored diagnostic approach is advisable according to the presentation, clinical history, and known specificities of n-irAEs. Several patterns characterized by distinct clinical, immunological, and prognostic characteristics are beginning to emerge. For example, myasthenia gravis is more likely to develop after anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) treatment, while meningitis appears more frequently after anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) therapy. Also, peripheral neuropathy and Guillain-Barre syndrome seem to be more common in patients with an underlying melanoma. Central nervous system disorders (CNS) are less frequent and are more often associated with lung cancer, and some of them (especially those with limbic encephalitis and positive onconeural antibodies) have a poor prognosis. Herein, we provide an update of the recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological toxicities related to ICI use, focusing on the exclusion of alternative diagnoses, diagnostic specificities, and treatment of n-irAEs.

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Topics: Limbic encephalitis (51%), Neurology (50%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/CURRONCOL28060373
02 Nov 2021-Current Oncology
Abstract: Cancer immunotherapy has the goal of enhancing a patient’s intrinsic immune processes in order to mount a successful immune response against tumor cells. Cancer cells actively employ tactics to evade, delay, alter, or attenuate the anti-tumor immune response. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) modulate endogenous regulatory immune mechanisms to enhance immune system activation, and have become the mainstay of therapy in many cancer types. This activation occurs broadly and as a result, activation is supraphysiologic and relatively non-specific, which can lead to immune-related adverse events (irAEs), the frequency of which depends on the patient, the cancer type, and the specific ICI antibody. Careful assessment of patients for irAEs through history taking, physical exam, and routine laboratory assessments are key to identifying irAEs at early stages, when they can potentially be managed more easily and before progressing to higher grades or more serious effects. Generally, most patients with low grade irAEs are eligible for re-challenge with ICIs, and the use of corticosteroids to address an irAE is not associated with poorer patient outcomes. This paper reviews immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) including their mechanisms of action, usage, associated irAEs, and their management.

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Topics: Immunotherapy (53%), Cancer immunotherapy (51%)

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S12311-021-01298-9
Yahel Segal1, Felix Bukstein1, Michal Ariela Raz1, Orna Aizenstein1  +2 moreInstitutions (1)
26 Jun 2021-The Cerebellum
Abstract: Immune check point inhibitors (ICIs) are a group of anti-cancer pharmacological agents which modify T cell activity in order to potentiate an effective immune response against tumor cells. While these drugs prove extremely potent against several types of malignancies, they may be associated with significant autoimmune adverse events. We report a patient who developed a subacute cerebellar syndrome shortly after starting treatment with nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, for renal clear cell carcinoma, with detectable paraneoplastic PCA-2 antibodies. The tumor specimen stained positively for MAP1B, the antigen of PCA-2. The patient responded well to treatment with glucocorticosteroids. This is the first case to our knowledge of PCA-2 paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration associated with ICI use, which presents in a patient with a malignancy not typically associated with neurological paraneoplastic phenomena. Treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is extremely effective in potentiating an immune response against tumor cells, but bears a substantial risk for the development of autoimmune phenomena, including paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Increasing use of ICIs is leading to increasing numbers of patients with new-onset neurological symptoms. Awareness of these novel entities will aid in early diagnosis and proper treatment.

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Topics: Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (66%), Nivolumab (56%), T cell (51%) ... read more

Open accessDOI: 10.1093/NOAJNL/VDAB107
01 Nov 2021-
Abstract: Immuno-oncology agents, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies, are increasing in use for a growing list of oncologic indications. While harnessing the immune system against cancer cells has a potent anti-tumor effect, it can also cause widespread autoimmune toxicities that limit therapeutic potential. Neurologic toxicities have unique presentations and can progress rapidly, necessitating prompt recognition. In this article, we review the spectrum of central and peripheral neurologic immune-related adverse events (irAEs) associated with ICI therapies, emphasizing a diagnostic framework that includes consideration of the therapy regimen, timing of symptom onset, presence of non-neurologic irAEs, pre-existing neurologic disease, and syndrome specific features. In addition, we review the immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) associated with CAR-T cell therapy and address diagnostic challenges specific to patients with brain metastases. As immunotherapy use grows, so too will the number of patients affected by neurotoxicity. There is an urgent need to understand pathogenic mechanisms, predictors, and optimal treatments of these toxicities, so that we can manage them without sacrificing anti-tumor efficacy.

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54 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA1003466
Abstract: Background An improvement in overall survival among patients with metastatic melanoma has been an elusive goal. In this phase 3 study, ipilimumab — which blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 to potentiate an antitumor T-cell response — administered with or without a glycoprotein 100 (gp100) peptide vaccine was compared with gp100 alone in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. Methods A total of 676 HLA-A*0201–positive patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma, whose disease had progressed while they were receiving therapy for metastatic disease, were randomly assigned, in a 3:1:1 ratio, to receive ipilimumab plus gp100 (403 patients), ipilimumab alone (137), or gp100 alone (136). Ipilimumab, at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight, was administered with or without gp100 every 3 weeks for up to four treatments (induction). Eligible patients could receive reinduction therapy. The primary end point was overall survival. Results The median overall survival was 10.0 months among patients receiving ipilimumab plus gp100, as compared with 6.4 months among patients receiving gp100 alone (hazard ratio for death, 0.68; P<0.001). The median overall survival with ipilimumab alone was 10.1 months (hazard ratio for death in the comparison with gp100 alone, 0.66; P = 0.003). No difference in overall survival was detected between the ipilimumab groups (hazard ratio with ipilimumab plus gp100, 1.04; P = 0.76). Grade 3 or 4 immune-related adverse events occurred in 10 to 15% of patients treated with ipilimumab and in 3% treated with gp100 alone. There were 14 deaths related to the study drugs (2.1%), and 7 were associated with immune-related adverse events. Conclusions Ipilimumab, with or without a gp100 peptide vaccine, as compared with gp100 alone, improved overall survival in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. Adverse events can be severe, long-lasting, or both, but most are reversible with appropriate treatment. (Funded by Medarex and Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00094653.)

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Topics: Ipilimumab (61%), Pembrolizumab (57%), Nivolumab (57%) ... read more

11,659 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1084/JEM.192.2.303
Abstract: This report shows that cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) plays a key role in T cell–mediated dominant immunologic self-tolerance. In vivo blockade of CTLA-4 for a limited period in normal mice leads to spontaneous development of chronic organ-specific autoimmune diseases, which are immunopathologically similar to human counterparts. In normal naive mice, CTLA-4 is constitutively expressed on CD25+CD4+ T cells, which constitute 5–10% of peripheral CD4+ T cells. When the CD25+CD4+ T cells are stimulated via the T cell receptor in vitro, they potently suppress antigen-specific and polyclonal activation and proliferation of other T cells, including CTLA-4–deficient T cells, and blockade of CTLA-4 abrogates the suppression. CD28-deficient CD25+CD4+ T cells can also suppress normal T cells, indicating that CD28 is dispensable for activation of the regulatory T cells. Thus, the CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cell population engaged in dominant self-tolerance may require CTLA-4 but not CD28 as a costimulatory molecule for its functional activation. Furthermore, interference with this role of CTLA-4 suffices to elicit autoimmune disease in otherwise normal animals, presumably through affecting CD25+CD4+ T cell–mediated control of self-reactive T cells. This unique function of CTLA-4 could be exploited to potentiate T cell–mediated immunoregulation, and thereby to induce immunologic tolerance or to control autoimmunity.

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Topics: Cytotoxic T cell (72%), Antigen-presenting cell (71%), Regulatory T cell (69%) ... read more

2,120 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.IT.2006.02.001
Taku Okazaki1, Tasuku Honjo1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Since the first observation of spontaneous autoimmune diseases in programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) knockout mice, PD-1 has been postulated to have essential roles in the regulation of autoimmunity but the precise mechanism was largely unknown. Recent studies clearly demonstrated that PD-1 has dual roles in immunological tolerance: induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. PD-1 ligands (PD-Ls) on antigen-presenting cells have been shown to switch off autoreactive T cells and induce peripheral tolerance, whereas those on parenchymal cells prevent tissue destruction by suppressing effector T cells to maintain tolerance. In addition, PD-1 and other immuno-inhibitory receptors have been shown to collaborate in the regulation of tolerance. Here, we review recent studies on the role of PD-1 in immunological tolerance and discuss possible clinical applications of PD-1 manipulation.

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Topics: Peripheral tolerance (74%), Autoimmunity (51%)

590 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0053745
14 Jan 2013-PLOS ONE
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blocking antibody, has been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and induces adverse events (AE) in up to 64% of patients. Treatment algorithms for the management of common ipilimumab-induced AEs have lead to a reduction of morbidity, e.g. due to bowel perforations. However, the spectrum of less common AEs is expanding as ipilimumab is increasingly applied. Stringent recognition and management of AEs will reduce drug-induced morbidity and costs, and thus, positively impact the cost-benefit ratio of the drug. To facilitate timely identification and adequate management data on rare AEs were analyzed at 19 skin cancer centers. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Patient files (n = 752) were screened for rare ipilimumab-associated AEs. A total of 120 AEs, some of which were life-threatening or even fatal, were reported and summarized by organ system describing the most instructive cases in detail. Previously unreported AEs like drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), granulomatous inflammation of the central nervous system, and aseptic meningitis, were documented. Obstacles included patientś delay in reporting symptoms and the differentiation of steroid-induced from ipilimumab-induced AEs under steroid treatment. Importantly, response rate was high in this patient population with tumor regression in 30.9% and a tumor control rate of 61.8% in stage IV melanoma patients despite the fact that some patients received only two of four recommended ipilimumab infusions. This suggests that ipilimumab-induced antitumor responses can have an early onset and that severe autoimmune reactions may reflect overtreatment. CONCLUSION: The wide spectrum of ipilimumab-induced AEs demands doctor and patient awareness to reduce morbidity and treatment costs and true ipilimumab success is dictated by both objective tumor responses and controlling severe side effects.

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Topics: Ipilimumab (58%)

361 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.EJCA.2016.12.001
Stefania Cuzzubbo1, F. Javeri, M. Tissier, A Roumi  +6 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting CTLA4 and PD1 constitute a promising class of cancer treatment but are associated with several immune-related disorders. We here review the literature reporting neurological adverse events (nAEs) associated with ICIs. A systematic search of literature, up to February 2016, mentioning nAEs in patients treated with ICIs was conducted. Eligible studies included case reports and prospective trials. One case seen in our ward was also added. Within the 59 clinical trials (totalling 9208 patients) analysed, the overall incidence of nAEs was 3.8% with anti-CTLA4 antibodies, 6.1% with anti-PD1 antibodies, and 12.0% with the combination of both. The clinical spectrum of neurological disorders was highly heterogeneous. Most of these nAEs were grade 1–2 and consisted of non-specific symptoms such as headache (55%). The incidence of high grade nAEs was below 1% for all types of treatment. Headaches, encephalopathies and meningitis were the most commonly reported (21%, 19% and 15%, respectively). Among the 27 case reports, the most common nAEs were encephalopathies, meningoradiculoneuritis, Guillain-Barre like syndromes and myasthenic syndromes. The median time of nAEs onset was 6 weeks. In most cases, drug interruption and steroids led to neurological recovery, even in conditions where steroids are not usually recommended such as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

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255 Citations


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