EM1806H "“My cancer treatment is a pain in the neck” Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy: A Rheumatologist’s Perspective (IM GR-062218)

Review and update current knowledge on the rheumatologic immune related adverse events that occur with immune checkpoint cancer therapy.

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Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand why rheumatologic immune related adverse events can occur.
  • Describe the common rheumatologic immune related adverse events that occur with immune checkpoint cancer therapy.
  • Understand the management concerns with patients with pre-existing and de novo rheumatologic disorders while undergoing immune checkpoint therapy.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Photo: Bonnie L. Bermas, M.D.Bonnie L. Bermas, M.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine
Dr. Morris Ziff Distinguished Professorship in Rheumatology
Division of Rheumatic Diseases

I was drawn to rheumatology as a subspecialty because I was intrigued with how our immune system, designed to protect us from foreign antigens, could also cause autoimmune disease. As I started rheumatology training, I became fascinated by the intersection of rheumatologic disorders with other medical circumstances in which the immune system was altered. Along those lines, I have spent much of my career trying to understand the impact of pregnancy on rheumatic conditions and the special considerations for disease management during gestation. As cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors started to present with rheumatologic immune related adverse events (irAEs), I realized that here was another opportunity to try to understand how a changing immune system, in this case the direct result of immune checkpoint inhibitors, could create and impact rheumatologic disorders. Similar to my experience in treating pregnant patients with rheumatic disease, relying on a multi-disciplinary team and a flexible approach is essential in managing patients who develop rheumatologic immune related adverse events with immune checkpoint therapy.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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