Cancer immunotherapy — immune checkpoint blockade and associated endocrinopathies

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Abstract | Advances in cancer therapy in the past few years include the development of medications that modulate immune checkpoint proteins. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) are two co-inhibitory receptors that are expressed on activated T cells against which therapeutic blocking antibodies have reached routine clinical use. Immune checkpoint blockade can induce inflammatory adverse effects, termed immune-related adverse events (IRAEs), which resemble autoimmune disease. In this Review, we describe the current data regarding immune-related endocrinopathies, including hypophysitis, thyroid dysfunction and diabetes mellitus. We discuss the clinical management of these endocrinopathies within the context of our current understanding of the mechanisms of IRAEs.

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