Immune checkpoint inhibitors, which are used to treat many types of cancer, can cause syndromes similar to rheumatic diseases known as immune-related adverse events (irAEs). In 2020, several studies illustrated the clinical heterogeneity of rheumatic irAEs and highlighted their substantial effect on morbidity and mortality.
Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-induced myositis has a high mortality rate, particularly when associated with myocarditis and myasthenia gravis, and can happen shortly after ICI initiation2.
Rheumatic immune-related adverse events (irAEs) of all kinds necessitate systemic immunosuppression, and for most patients in one multicentre study, tumour response did not worsen after treatment of these irAEs3.
Patients with inflammatory arthritis attributable to ICI therapy experience substantial emotional and functional effects, outcomes that could be improved with increased awareness, multidisciplinary care and increased social support4.
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L.C.C. and C.O.B. declare that they have received research funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb, and that L.C.C. has acted as a consultant for AbbVie.
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Cappelli, L.C., Bingham, C.O. Spectrum and impact of checkpoint inhibitor-induced irAEs. Nat Rev Rheumatol 17, 69–70 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-020-00546-2