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Editorial
October 2017

Neurological Complications of Immunotherapies—Beware of the Checkpoint Ahead

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section on Hematology and Oncology, Department of Neurology and Internal Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(10):1176-1177. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1916

Neurological symptoms have been and continue to be one of the most common reasons for admission to a cancer center.1 Neurotoxic chemotherapy, direct invasion of cancer, and other neurological complications of treatment contribute to the substantial cross talk between oncologists and neurologists. Over the past 5 years, oncology has witnessed an explosion of new immunotherapeutics that are revolutionizing drug development and patient care in oncology today. In contrast to traditional chemotherapy, which targets rapidly dividing cancer cells and can lead to adverse effects in other organs with rapid cell turnover, immunotherapies target and activate the immune system, potentially leading to a wide range of inflammatory and immune-mediated adverse events, including those in the nervous system.

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