Immune-Related Adverse Events From Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Sep;100(3):242-51. doi: 10.1002/cpt.394. Epub 2016 Jul 29.


Immunotherapy for cancer treatment has come of age, specifically with the use of immune checkpoint antibodies directed against molecules such as CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1. Single-agent and combinatorial approaches utilizing these agents and other immunotherapies that may enhance antitumor effects are under investigation. With increasing clinical use of these agents, an appreciation for their toxicities comes to the fore. Adverse events that occur as a result of the immunologic effects of these therapies are termed "immune-related adverse events" (irAEs), and range in both frequency and severity in reported single-agent and combination studies. Improvements in our understanding of how and why irAEs develop and how to effectively manage them are needed. Herein we provide a state-of-the-art synopsis of the incidence, clinical features, mechanisms, and management of selected irAEs with immune checkpoint inhibitors currently in use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • CTLA-4 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endocrine System Diseases / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 Protein
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Receptors, KIR / immunology
  • Receptors, OX40 / immunology
  • Skin Diseases / immunology
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • CTLA4 protein, human
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Receptors, KIR
  • Receptors, OX40
  • TNFRSF4 protein, human
  • Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 Protein
  • Lag3 protein, human