Could knee inflammatory synovitis be induced by pembrolizumab?

J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2018 Jul;24(5):389-392. doi: 10.1177/1078155217701292. Epub 2017 Mar 29.


Pembrolizumab, a selective anti-PD-1 humanized monoclonal antibody, reactivates T cells to fight cancer. Immune-related adverse events such as autoimmune colitis, pneumonitis, hepatitis, nephritis, hypophysitis, and thyroiditis may occur during, or weeks to months after therapy. Pemprolizumab-induced synovitis is rarely reported. With the wide use of immunotherapy to treat cancers, physicians need to be aware of this rare immune-related adverse event and provide immediate treatment to avoid permanent joint damage.

Keywords: Pemprolizumab; autoimmune arthritis; melanoma; synovitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Synovitis / chemically induced*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • pembrolizumab