Management of pulmonary toxicity associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors

Eur Respir Rev. 2019 Nov 6;28(154):190012. doi: 10.1183/16000617.0012-2019. Print 2019 Dec 31.


Immunotherapy has become a standard of care in oncology, following the recent approvals of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein-4 and programmed cell death-1 inhibitors in lung cancer, melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder, head and neck cancers. Besides their efficacy, these agents also generate specific immune-related adverse events. Due to the increasing prescription of immune-checkpoint inhibitors, the incidence of immune toxicity will continue to rise. The awareness of immune-related adverse events is key to ensuring both diagnosis and management of the possible serious adverse events. Although severe immune-related adverse events remain rare, they can lead to discontinued treatment or to death if they are not forecasted and managed properly. Even if lung toxicity is not the most frequent adverse event, it remains critical as it can be life-threatening. Herein, the main aspects of pulmonary toxicity are reviewed and guidelines are also proposed in order to manage the possible side-effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / adverse effects*
  • Immunotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Immunologic Factors