COVID-19: tocilizumab and immune checkpoint inhibitor controversies

Written by Rachel Jenkins, Future Science Group

Recently published in Immunotherapy, Melissa Bersanelli (University Hospital of Parma, Italy) discusses the controversies surrounding COVID-19, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and tocilizumab. Cancer patients represent a large subgroup at high risk of developing coronavirus infection and its severe complications. Recently, countries heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak have recommended postponement of active cancer treatments. Previous studies have also suggested that cancer patients should reduce hospital visits during the pandemic. Bersanelli suggests that cancer patients receiving immunotherapy with ICIs could be more immunocompetent than cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, there are two major risks involved with ICIs, the first being lung...

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