Ian Olver, MD, PhD
COMMENTING ON the importance of this topic at a press conference during the 2018 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) Annual Meeting, Ian Olver, MD, PhD, Immediate Past President of MASCC and Director of the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute in Adelaide, said, “We’ve known for years that cytotoxics can affect the pumping power of the heart, but now we’ve got this slightly different problem of inflammatory myocarditis with the use of these new immunotherapies.”
“Most cancer conferences around the world are now presenting the results of the new immunotherapies and checkpoint inhibitors, not only because they’re effective in a range of cancers that are difficult to treat, but because we’re now learning more about the whole spectrum of autoimmune effects they have on multiple organs, including the heart,” he said.
‘Shooting in the Dark’
“TO SOME extent, by giving these drugs after exhausting all of our standard treatments, we are shooting in the dark in our efforts to help very sick patients receive a medicine that might help them,” said Dr. Ewer. “But broader use as first-line agents and experience beyond clinical trials will provide vital information regarding both the successes and failures of checkpoint inhibitor therapy.” ■
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Olver reported no conflicts of interest.
IMMUNE CHECKPOINT inhibitors represent a giant step forward in the treatment of many cancers, and as these agents have “come of age” in the past few years, so has the collective understanding of their potential for causing adverse events. Although checkpoint inhibitors are known to be associated...