Recently, "ipilimumab," an anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) monoclonal antibody, has been demonstrated to improve overall survival in metastatic melanoma. "CTLA-4" is an immune-checkpoint molecule that downregulates pathways of T-cell activation. Ipilimumab, by targeting CTLA-4, is able to remove the CTLA-4 inhibitory signal, allowing the immune system to react to cancer cells. Due to its immune-based mechanism of action, ipilimumab causes the inhibition of CTLA-4-mediated immunomodulatory effects, the enhancement of antitumor specific immune response mediated by the weakening of self-tolerance mechanisms while exacerbating the development of autoimmune diseases and immune-related adverse events, including dermatitis, hepatitis, enterocolitis, hypophysitis, and uveitis.
Keywords: CTLA-4; T-cells; adverse events; autoimmunity; melanoma.