1 Division of Infectious Diseases II and Immunology, Department of Medical Sciences and Infectious Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.
2 Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionised the oncological landscape in the last few years. Possible applications include the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Unfortunately, new immune-related adverse effects have been associated with the use of these agents and the liver is one of the organs most frequently involved.
To provide a general overview of the potential impact of immune checkpoint inhibitors on the liver METHODS: We reviewed the literature and abstracts/presentations on immune checkpoint inhibitors at most relevant hepatology meetings over the last 5 years.
The role of immune checkpoint inhibitors has been investigated both for the treatment of viral hepatitis and primary liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic hepatitis B show the greatest potential for treatment with these drugs in the near future. However, immune-related adverse events involving the liver are a growing concern related to their widespread use.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent an exciting new class of drugs with currently limited application in malignant and non-malignant liver disease. Caution must be exercised on the emergence of potentially severe immune adverse reactions.