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01-09-2017 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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IL-6R inhibitors an option for immunotherapy-induced arthritis

medwireNews: Treatment with interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) blockers could be an effective option for patients with cancer who develop severe arthritis in response to immune checkpoint inhibition therapy, say researchers who describe three such cases in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

All three patients had metastatic melanoma, treated in one case with the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab and with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab in the remaining cases. They developed polyarthritis during the course of treatment and were given the IL-6R inhibitor tocilizumab, which led to resolution of arthritis in one patient and disease control in the others.

Adi Diab (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA) and co-authors note that “one patient maintained a durable antitumour response derived from checkpoint inhibition.”

They believe that IL-6R blockers could be a valid alternative to the current mainstay of treatment of immunotherapy-associated arthritis, namely corticosteroids and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, the prolonged use of which can ameliorate the anti-tumor effects of immune checkpoint therapy.

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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