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Clinicians have seen remarkable progress in cancer patients treated with the class of immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. In a small number of patients, they have also seen a rare but fatal cardiovascular side effect known as myocarditis.

Now, with checkpoint inhibitors likely to be approved for a wider array of cancers, researchers are concerned that it’s only a matter of time before more patients develop the same autoimmune response. They still don’t know why.


Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscles, has shown up in 101 cancer patients who have been treated with checkpoint inhibitors, according to a recent study published in the Lancet. Researchers, who trawled the World Health Organization’s database of case safety reports, also noticed an uptick in 2017.

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  • I am hoping that those who are going through the immunotherapy treatment protocol, are discussing this issue with their doctors, especially if they are experiencing symptoms of what has been described as myocarditis.

    It is important that patients have access to the information, that is conveyed in this article. Thank you for addressing this topic.

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