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Thyroid Dysfunctions Due to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Review

Authors El Sabbagh R, Azar NS, Eid AA, Azar ST

Received 6 May 2020

Accepted for publication 1 September 2020

Published 4 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1003—1009

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S261433

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Rawaa El Sabbagh,1 Nadim S Azar,2,3 Assaad A Eid,3 Sami T Azar1

1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 3Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence: Sami T Azar
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Email sazar@aub.edu.lb

Aim: Immune checkpoint inhibitors are anti-cancer drugs associated with adverse events that result from releasing the immune system against self-antigens while attacking cancer cells. Thyroid dysfunctions are among the most common associated adverse events.
Materials and Methods: We conducted a systematic search of the literature in 2 databases: PubMed and Medline. Articles that reported thyroid adverse events of immune checkpoint inhibitors were reviewed. Thyroid disorders include hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and are most commonly seen with programmed cell death protein 1 and programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitors.
Conclusions: Thyroid disorders are common side effects seen with check point inhibitors and are treated, depending on the clinical situation, by adequate hormonal replacement, thionamides, corticosteroids or observation only. The use of high dose corticosteroids has not been established as a treatment of thyroid toxicities. Thyroid function tests screening should be a part of baseline laboratory testing of all patients undergoing treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Keywords: immune check point inhibitors, thyroid dysfunction, anti-PD1, anti-PDL1

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