The development of novel immunotherapies has and will continue to change the cancer treatment landscape and in turn patient outcomes. Immunotherapy elicits its effects via modulation of the immune system; thus, each patient’s experience is unique both in terms of therapeutic response and potential adverse events. Open communication between patients and clinicians from treatment planning through survivorship is essential. While most cancer patients experience mild to moderate symptoms, high grade irAEs can be life-threatening if not diagnosed early and managed appropriately. Regardless of etiology, it is highly recommended immunotherapy be held and often discontinued if symptoms persist of become severe. The most important first step in ensuring early detection and proper management is educating patients on signs and symptoms they may experience after initiation of immunotherapy. Additionally, a multi-specialty team approach is essential for optimal management and reversal of adverse effects. As our knowledge of immunotherapies and their underlying immune mechanisms expands, so will our ability to manage and prevent associated adverse events providing cancer patients with optimal care and improved outcomes.
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