Immune checkpoint inhibitors in women with gynecologic cancers: Practical considerations

Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Sep;158(3):531-537. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.06.499. Epub 2020 Jul 5.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors are an exciting new class of cancer therapeutics. Recently, a PD-1 inhibitor has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for several indications that are relevant to patients with gynecologic malignancies. In this review, we explore the clinical considerations for the use of checkpoint inhibitor therapy in this population. Specifically, we will discuss the approved indications, recommended dosing, clinical monitoring while on treatment, common adverse events, and treatment of adverse events should they arise. Additionally, we will review mechanisms of resistance and other challenges associated with the use of checkpoint inhibitors. We will conclude with a discussion of possible future directions for immunotherapy in women with gynecologic cancers.

Keywords: Checkpoint inhibitors; Gynecologic cancers; Immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • B7-H1 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / drug therapy*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • pembrolizumab