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Dr. Apolo on Managing Toxicities of Checkpoint Inhibitors in Bladder Cancer

Andrea B. Apolo, MD
Published: Thursday, Jan 18, 2018



Andrea B. Apolo, MD, medical oncologist, chief of the bladder cancer section of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute, discusses managing immune-related toxicities from checkpoint inhibitors in patients with bladder cancer.

Recognizing immune-related toxicities early is important, explains Apolo. Most toxicities are easily managed but there are rare, life-threatening toxicities that need to be recognized. It is important to educate the patient and nurses so that they pick up on subtleties, such as fatigue or a headache.

According to Apolo, there are guidelines in the management of immune-related toxicities. Since some toxicities are rare, not all physicians have much experience managing them, making the guidelines a useful tool for patients with bladder cancer.

Considering there were 5 FDA approvals of checkpoint inhibitors in the last 18 months, it is becoming a growing necessity for urologists to understand how to distinguish immune-related adverse events and appropriately manage patients with them.



Andrea B. Apolo, MD, medical oncologist, chief of the bladder cancer section of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute, discusses managing immune-related toxicities from checkpoint inhibitors in patients with bladder cancer.

Recognizing immune-related toxicities early is important, explains Apolo. Most toxicities are easily managed but there are rare, life-threatening toxicities that need to be recognized. It is important to educate the patient and nurses so that they pick up on subtleties, such as fatigue or a headache.

According to Apolo, there are guidelines in the management of immune-related toxicities. Since some toxicities are rare, not all physicians have much experience managing them, making the guidelines a useful tool for patients with bladder cancer.

Considering there were 5 FDA approvals of checkpoint inhibitors in the last 18 months, it is becoming a growing necessity for urologists to understand how to distinguish immune-related adverse events and appropriately manage patients with them.


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