Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs used to treat cancer. They work by blocking the ability of cancer cells to hide from the immune system. In recent years, they are effective in treating other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
However, these drugs may also cause kidney damage. This is because they prevent the immune system from attacking and killing cancer cells that are hiding in the kidneys.
What do immune checkpoint inhibitors do?
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a class of drugs that work by targeting the immune system. They can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Melanoma and other cancers
- Metastatic breast cancer
- Multiple myeloma
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of cancer drug used to treat several types of cancer, including melanoma and lung cancer.
These types of drugs work by stopping the immune system from attacking your body’s tissues. This is great for people with trouble with their immune system because it means they don’t have to worry about their body attacking their cancerous tumors.
Unfortunately, these drugs also have some side effects that may cause problems. Here are some of the most common side effects:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Rash or itching
- Hair loss or baldness
- Nausea or vomiting (often severe)
- Changes in vision
Immune checkpoint inhibitors and kidney disease.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors have been used to treat a variety of different cancers, but they are now also being tested for several other diseases. The most common use is for people with kidney disease who have failed to respond to conventional treatments.
If you have kidney disease and your doctor has recommended that you try an immune checkpoint inhibitor as part of your treatment, there are some things you should keep in mind:
- You may need to take the drug for longer than expected—your doctor will monitor how well the drug works for you over time.
- You will likely need to undergo additional blood tests before and after taking the drug so that the effects can be monitored carefully.
- The side effects from these drugs can be severe—they include stomach ulcers, nausea/vomiting, low blood pressure, and fatal heart attacks.