Background Immunotherapy is nowadays considered a mainstay of cancer treatment, dramatically affecting the disease-free survival rate in several aggressive malignancies. Unfortunately, cancer immunotherapy can also trigger life-threatening autoimmune neurological complications named "neurological adverse effects" (NAEs). NAEs can affect both the central nervous system (CNS), as in ipilimumab-related aseptic meningitis, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), as in nivolumab-induced myasthenia gravis.Current evidence The incidence of NAEs is highly variable, ranging from 2 to 4% using checkpoint inhibitors to 50% using blinatumomab. Looking at these numbers, it appears clear that neurologists will soon be called more and more frequently to decide upon the best therapeutic strategy for a patient receiving immunotherapy and experiencing a NAE. Most of them can be treated or reverted withholding the offending drug and adding IVIg, plasmapheresis, or steroids to the therapy. Sometimes, however, for oncological reasons, immunotherapy cannot be stopped so the neurologist needs to know what countermeasures have proven most effective. Moreover, patients with a pre-existing autoimmune neurological disease (AID), such as myasthenia gravis or multiple sclerosis, might need immunotherapy during their life, risking a severe worsening of their symptoms. In that setting, the neurologist needs to properly counsel patients about the risk of a therapy-related relapse.Conclusion In this article, we describe the most frequently reported NAEs and aim to give neurologists a practical overview on how to deal with them.

Neurology of cancer immunotherapy / A. De Grado, F. Cencini, A. Priori. - In: NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 1590-3478. - 44:(2023), pp. 137-148. [10.1007/s10072-022-06297-0]

Neurology of cancer immunotherapy

A. De Grado;F. Cencini;A. Priori
2023

Abstract

Background Immunotherapy is nowadays considered a mainstay of cancer treatment, dramatically affecting the disease-free survival rate in several aggressive malignancies. Unfortunately, cancer immunotherapy can also trigger life-threatening autoimmune neurological complications named "neurological adverse effects" (NAEs). NAEs can affect both the central nervous system (CNS), as in ipilimumab-related aseptic meningitis, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), as in nivolumab-induced myasthenia gravis.Current evidence The incidence of NAEs is highly variable, ranging from 2 to 4% using checkpoint inhibitors to 50% using blinatumomab. Looking at these numbers, it appears clear that neurologists will soon be called more and more frequently to decide upon the best therapeutic strategy for a patient receiving immunotherapy and experiencing a NAE. Most of them can be treated or reverted withholding the offending drug and adding IVIg, plasmapheresis, or steroids to the therapy. Sometimes, however, for oncological reasons, immunotherapy cannot be stopped so the neurologist needs to know what countermeasures have proven most effective. Moreover, patients with a pre-existing autoimmune neurological disease (AID), such as myasthenia gravis or multiple sclerosis, might need immunotherapy during their life, risking a severe worsening of their symptoms. In that setting, the neurologist needs to properly counsel patients about the risk of a therapy-related relapse.Conclusion In this article, we describe the most frequently reported NAEs and aim to give neurologists a practical overview on how to deal with them.
Cancer immunotherapy; Demyelinating disorders; Meningoencephalitis; Myelitis; NAEs; Neurological complications
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
16-set-2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/939614
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