Immune checkpoint inhibitors: what neuro-ophthalmologists need to know


Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Cestari DM. Immune checkpoint inhibitors: what neuro-ophthalmologists need to know. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2019;30(6):426-433.

Date Published:

2019 Nov


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Immune checkpoint inhibitors are currently an exceedingly powerful tool in the management of hitherto incurable malignancies and their use in clinical practice is expected to increase in the near future. The purpose of this review is to discuss the current medical uses of checkpoint inhibitors with a focus on their neuro-ophthalmic side-effects. RECENT FINDINGS: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have emerged as a promising breakthrough in the treatment of several tumor types. However, these targeted therapies can induce a wide range of immune-related ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic toxicities. It is important for neuro-ophthamologists to promptly recognize and manage these adverse events that can potentially threaten vision. SUMMARY: There are currently seven FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitors and several ones are under investigation. In general, immunotherapy is considered a well tolerated, safe and efficacious treatment option for many cancer patients. Nevertheless, because of their unique mechanism of action, these molecules can alter the immune response and result in immune-related adverse effects in almost every organ with an estimated incidence of ophthalmic side effects in this patient population of less than 1%.

Last updated on 12/02/2019