Special Episode: Managing Cardiotoxicity from ICI Therapy in Patients With Cancer

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In season 3, episode 9 of Targeted Talks, Mohammed Salhab, MD, and Chris Fine, MD, FACC, have a special discussion about cardiotoxicity from immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in patients with cancer.

In season 3, episode 9 of Targeted Talks, Mohammed Salhab, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologist at National Jewish Health, and Chris Fine, MD, FACC, cardiologist at National Jewish Health, have a special discussion about cardiotoxicity from immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in patients with cancer.

The role of immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer treatment has changed drastically over the past 5 years alone. Where they were once only used in select patients with certain cancers or in the third, fourth, or fifth line, they are now given across a number of cancer types and in the frontline setting.

According to Salhab, the cardio oncology specialization worked tremendously to improve cancer outcomes. But while immune checkpoints have had a lot of positive impact on patients with cancer, there are still some instances where they can cause toxicities in the short- and long-term. According to Fine, 1 of the most significant situations where an immune checkpoint inhibitor would need to be stopped indefinitely is if there is symptomatic myocarditis caused by that inhibitor.

Salhab expanded on the reasons for needing to stop an immune checkpoint inhibitor and provided background on when it may be best to switch to a different version or modification. Finding those early adverse events, grade 1 or 2 are helpful in making sure to not permanently discontinue medications for patients.

Overall, Fine and Salhab note that the goal is to always better a patient's quality of life. By continuing to evaluate and develop new medications, including targeted therapies, experts will be able to further prolong life, lessen the burden of disease, and help improve patient care and outcomes.