Understanding Immunotherapy Side Effects

Treatment with checkpoint inhibitors is often billed as gentler than chemotherapy—and it is true that immunotherapy doesn’t come with the same acute side effects, such as hair loss, characteristic of many chemotherapy drugs. But checkpoint inhibitors are not without side effects.

In a story published in the summer 2018 issue of Cancer Today, digital editor Kate Yandell discusses what is known about checkpoint inhibitor side effects and how to spot and treat them.

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AACR Annual Meeting 2017: Most Merkel Cell Carcinoma Responses to the Newly FDA-Approved Avelumab Expected to Last More than a Year

T cells and antibodies

On March 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the first-ever approval of a treatment for patients with a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. The treatment, the immunotherapeutic avelumab (Bavencio), was approved based on data from the JAVELIN Merkel 200 phase II clinical trial.

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