Clinical burden of immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced pneumonitis

Koji Sakamoto, Jun Fukihara, Masahiro Morise, Naozumi Hashimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been a breakthrough in medical oncology. However, many patients experience a novel type of adverse drug reaction that has a unique clinical presentation, called immune-related adverse events (irAEs). A breakdown of self-tolerance and an exaggerated autoimmune reaction by the host are assumed to be the underlying mechanisms. Therefore, special attention to the optimal diagnosis and management is required. Among the various effects of irAE, pneumonitis has been recognized as an important manifestation because of its high morbidity and mortality. As the application of ICIs is expanding to a wider variety of tumor types, as well as its use with cytotoxic agents and radiation, clinicians are highly likely to encounter this complication. In this review, we will summarize the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms, incidence, risk factors, optimal diagnostic workup, and management of ICI-related pneumonitis (IRP). We will also review fundamental information on drug-induced lung toxicity in the oncology setting. In addition, research perspectives focused on better risk stratification and management to avoid serious complications in the future are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
Number of pages15
JournalRespiratory Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 09-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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