Date of this Version
The Journal of Immunology, 2019 May 15;202(10):2823-2828.
With the increased use of cancer immunotherapy, a number of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are being identified. These irAEs can be compared with known autoimmune disorders in similar tissues, with important similarities and differences. Understanding the etiology of irAEs may bring to light concepts applicable to immune responses in cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious disease. This immunobiology is especially relevant to cancer patients with preexisting allogeneic transplants or autoimmune disease who are undergoing cancer immunotherapy. To address these facets of cancer immunotherapy, academic leaders from these various disciplines discussed current irAE basic and clinical research, irAE diagnosis and management, and the need for biomarkers and algorithms to identify individuals at risk for irAEs at a conference jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, MD, on March 22–23, 2018. Mechanisms and models to characterize irAEs, standardize protocols, store biospecimens, and capture and analyze irAE data were also reviewed during the inaugural Cancer, Autoimmunity, and Immunology Conference. This summary highlights cancer immunotherapy–induced irAEs, the challenges ahead, and the opportunities for greater understanding of autoimmune conditions.