Physiopathological mechanisms of immune-related adverse events induced by anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies in cancer treatment

Abstract : Recently, the emergence of anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies called immune check-point inhibitors (ICPI) has modified the landscape of anti-cancer treatments. These therapeutics are associated with immune related adverse events that affect many organs, most commonly skin, digestive tract, endocrine glands and lungs. This review summarizes the main physiopathological hypotheses on the mechanisms of these toxicities. In most cases, the T lymphocytes hyperactivation induced by ICPI generates a specific response directed against tumor antigens, leading to anti-tumor activity in tumor tissues but also side effects in normal tisues called “on-target”. The CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes-mediated cell lysis induces the release of neoantigens, tumor antigens and auto-antigens from normal tissues, respectively. This phenomenon called “epitope spreading” leads to diversification of the T cell repertoire and thus to reduced immune tolerance, which is exacerbated by inhibition of regulator T lymphocytes. Furthermore, the predominant activation of Th1 and Th17T lymphocytes mediated by ICPI induced an increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-γ (IFNγ) and interleukine-17 (IL-17). These two mechanisms are responsible for the so called “off-target” toxicities. The roles of cross-reactivity with the intestinal microbiota, hypersensitivity and the specific effect of PD-L2 remain to be determined. Better knowledge of these mechanisms will improve patient care and help predict patients at risk of developing severe toxicities to ICPIs.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 10:46:49 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 20, 2019 - 3:32:02 PM

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Tilda Passat, Yann Touchefeu, Nadine Gervois, Anne Jarry, Celine Bossard, et al.. Physiopathological mechanisms of immune-related adverse events induced by anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies in cancer treatment. Bulletin du Cancer, John Libbey Eurotext, 2018, 105 (11), pp.1033-1041. ⟨10.1016/j.bulcan.2018.07.005⟩. ⟨inserm-01981595⟩

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