Diverse types of dermatologic toxicities from immune checkpoint blockade therapy

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Immunomodulatory drugs that leverages host immune mechanisms to destroy tumor cells have been met with great promise in the treatment of cancer. Immunotherapy, targeting cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor and its ligand (PD-L1) have shown tremendous improvements in the survival of patients with advanced solid tumors. However, the development of dermatologic toxicity (DT) is a consequence to immunotherapy. Review of published reports of the DT to immunotherapy revealed patients receiving anti-CTCLA-4 antibody or anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody often develop a DT of any type and grade. In this article, of the 3825 patients who were treated with anti-PD-1 and of 556 patients receiving anti-PD-L1, DT of any type and grade were reported in 1474 (∼39%) and 95 (∼17%) of patients, respectively. The emergence of specific types of DT to immunotherapy is beginning to be recognized can be categorized into four groups: (a) inflammatory, (b) immunobullous, (c) alteration of keratinocytes and (d) alteration of melanocytes. Lichenoid dermatitis and bullous pemphigoid appear to be DT more associated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody. The DT profile in patients receiving immunotherapy is diverse, and early recognition of specific types of DT that clinicians may encounter is critical for optimal patient care

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