Immunotherapy pp 155-174 | Cite as

Adverse Events in Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Noha Abdel-Wahab
  • Anas Alshawa
  • Maria E. Suarez-AlmazorEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 995)


Cancer immunotherapy has resulted in durable responses in patients with metastatic disease, unseen with traditional chemotherapy. Several therapies have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of various cancers, including: immune checkpoint inhibitors, cytokines - interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interferon alpha (IFN), and the cancer vaccine sipuleucel-T. These therapies upregulate the immune system to enhance antitumor responses. As a consequence, they can cause inflammatory and immune-related adverse events that can affect one or more organs, can be serious, and on occasion lifethreatening. The management of these adverse events is complex, and requires a multidisciplinary approach involving not only oncologists, but also other internal medicine specialists, to ensure prompt diagnosis and optimal management of these complications.


Immune-related adverse events Immune checkpoint inhibitors Cytokines Cancer vaccine Cancer immunotherapy 



We are grateful to Gregory F. Pratt, from the Research Medical Library at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for assisting in the acquisition of data.

Dr. Suarez-Almazor is the recipient of a K24 career award from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS: grant # AR053593). The funding agency had no role in the study’s design, conduct, and reporting.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noha Abdel-Wahab
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anas Alshawa
    • 3
  • Maria E. Suarez-Almazor
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Section of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Rheumatology and Rehabilitation DepartmentAssiut University HospitalsAssiutEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Investigational Cancer TherapeuticsUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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