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Checkpoint Inhibitors: Common Immune-Related Adverse Events and Their Management

RuthAnn Gordon
Mary Kate Kasler
Kristen Stasi
Yelena Shames
Mimma Errante
Kathryn Ciccolini
Anna Skripnik Lucas
Pam Raasch
Erica Fischer-Cartlidge
CJON 2017, 21(2), 45-52 DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.S2.45-52

Background: Immunotherapy, specifically the use of checkpoint inhibitors, offers patients with cancer an alternative to chemotherapy, targeting different pathways to destroy cancer cells. The side effects of immunotherapies, as well as their impact on normal tissue, need to be assessed and managed based on their mechanisms of action.

Objectives: This article presents an overview of immune-related adverse events (AEs).

Methods: Common immune-related toxicities, as well as rare and refractory toxicities, are reviewed.

Findings: Immunotherapy treatment is an option for many patients with cancer, and nurses must understand the distinct side effect profile of these agents. Prompt identification and expert management are the cornerstones of success when dealing with immune-related AEs, and oncology nurses play a key role in improving patient care.

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