Clinical diagnosis and treatment of immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated pneumonitis

Thorac Cancer. 2020 Jan;11(1):191-197. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.13240. Epub 2019 Nov 24.


The increasing use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in tumors has brought new hope of survival to patients with advanced tumors. However, the immune system activated by immune checkpoint inhibitors, mainly activated T-cells, can attack normal tissues and organs in the body and lead to a variety of adverse effects. In the lung, these attacks can induce checkpoint inhibitor pneumonitis (CIP). CIP is different from known pulmonary interstitial pneumonitis, and has the potential to be fatal if not treated correctly. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of CIP and provide advice on how to manage this disease.

Keywords: Checkpoint inhibitor pneumonitis; immune checkpoint inhibitor; immune checkpoint inhibitor-related adverse effects; immunotherapy-related toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / therapy*
  • Prognosis


  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors