Rebecca Harrison, MD, Assistant Professor of Neuro-Oncology at MD Anderson and is now a Clinical Associate Professor BC Cancer the University of British Columbia. In this video, she speaks about the Neurologic Toxicities of Immunotherapy.
Over the last two decades, immunotherapy has changed cancer treatment. Immunotherapy techniques' anticancer results come at the cost of an increasing range of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) caused by cross-reactivity between tumor and normal host tissue. These negative events can occur in any organ and range in severity from moderate to severe, even life-threatening. While neurological irAEs linked with immune checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) are uncommon, they provide a considerable management challenge because the clinical presentations are diverse, necessitating therapeutic discontinuation and systemic immune suppression, as well as temporary functional deterioration. Immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity (ICANS), on the other hand, is ubiquitous, often occurs in tandem with cytokine release syndrome (CRS), and poses a serious clinical obstacle to the development and broad use of these successful medicines. For future clinical development of these beneficial medicines in cancer patients, early recognition of these neurological disorders, rapid diagnosis, and judicious management are critical. We detail the clinical phenotypes of CPI-induced neurological sequelae and ICANS, as well as clinical surveillance, diagnosis, and therapy strategies.