Immune Related Adverse Effects (irAE’s) Clinic

irAE clinic

Immune checkpoint inhibitor’s (ICI) are medications that are used in treatment of certain types of cancer. They work by activating the immune system to target the malignancy, but this can also lead to off-target organ side effects called immune related adverse effects (irAE’s). Significant irAE’s can occur in up to 25% of pts treated with ICI therapy. The rheumatology irAE clinic focuses on diagnosis and management of the musculoskeletal side effects that can occur with ICI therapy. These rheumatic irAE’s that can be seen with ICI include arthralgia/myalgia, inflammatory arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic, giant cell arteritis, myositis, sarcoidosis like reaction and Sjogren’s syndrome. These side effects can require discontinuation or interruption of ICI therapy and the addition of systemic immunosuppression for management. The irAE clinic also evaluates patients with pre-existing autoimmune disease prior to starting ICI therapy.

The pathophysiology behind irAE development is not fully understood and Dr. Elg-Salsman is committed to studying rheumatic irAE’s in order to help identify biomarkers to predict which patients are at a higher risk for developing irAE’s.  Dr. Elg-Salsman’s current research project, Unbiased discovery and validation of serum auto-antibodies and validation of serum auto-antibodies in pts with rheumatic irAE’s due to ICI, is a multi-center project, which hopes to answer this important question.


A Quarter of Patients Treated with Checkpoint Inhibitors Develop Immune-Related Adverse Events: A University Center Experience

Celine Zhou 1, Whitney Elg-Salsman1, Sonam Kiwalkar 2, Nishad Sathe 1, Marcia Friedman 1 and Atul Deodhar 2, 1Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, 2Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

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