Sign Up for a Free Account


BrainWaves #157 Checkpoint inhibitor neurotoxicity

MedLink Neurology Podcast is delighted to feature selected episodes from BrainWaves, courtesy of James E Siegler MD, its originator and host. BrainWaves is an academic audio podcast whose mission is to educate medical providers through clinical cases and topical reviews in neurology, medicine, and the humanities, and episodes originally aired from 2016 to 2021.

Originally released: February 20, 2020

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized cancer treatment. Unlike chemotherapy, which essentially includes cellular toxins that can cause widespread and unnecessary tissue damage, checkpoint inhibitors are used to train the body’s natural immune system to fight off cancer. And while they are extraordinarily effective options for patients with malignant disease, they are not without risk. Every day, we are learning more and more about the autoimmune side effects of these novel therapies. This week on the BrainWaves Podcast, Dr. Justine Cohen (University of Pennsylvania) shares her experience managing patients with checkpoint inhibitor neurotoxicity.

Produced by James E Siegler and Justine Cohen. Music courtesy of Jon Watts, Kai Engel, and Kevin McLeod--as well as a cameo appearance by the Checkpoints. Unless otherwise mentioned in the podcast, no competing financial interests exist in the content of this episode. Sound effects by Mike Koenig and Daniel Simion. BrainWaves' podcasts and online content are intended for medical education only and should not be used for clinical decision-making. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @brainwavesaudio for the latest updates to the podcast.


Bhatia S, Tykodi SS, Thompson JA. Treatment of metastatic melanoma: an overview. Oncology (Williston Park) 2009;23(6):488-96. PMID 19544689

Cohen JV, Buchbinder EI. The evolution of adjuvant therapy for melanoma. Curr Oncol Rep 2019;21(12):106. PMID 31768772

Cohen JV, Wang N, Venur VA, et al. Neurologic complications of melanoma. Cancer 2020;126(3):477-86. PMID 31725902

Graus F, Dalmau J. Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes in the era of immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2019;16(9):535-48. PMID 30867573

Hottinger AF. Neurologic complications of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Curr Opin Neurol 2016 ;29(6):806-12. PMID 27653290

Wick W, Hertenstein A, Platten M. Neurological sequelae of cancer immunotherapies and targeted therapies. Lancet Oncol 2016;17(12):e529-41. PMID 27924751

Zekeridou A, Lennon VA. Neurologic autoimmunity in the era of checkpoint inhibitor cancer immunotherapy. Mayo Clin Proc 2019;94(9):1865-78. PMID 31358366

Zubiri L, Allen IM, Taylor MS, et al. Immune-related adverse events in the setting of PD-1/L1 inhibitor combination therapy. Oncologist 2020;25(3):e398-404. PMID 32162817

We believe that the principles expressed or implied in the podcast remain valid, but certain details may be superseded by evolving knowledge since the episode’s original release date.

Questions or Comment?

MedLink®, LLC

3525 Del Mar Heights Rd, Ste 304
San Diego, CA 92130-2122

Toll Free (U.S. + Canada): 800-452-2400

US Number: +1-619-640-4660



ISSN: 2831-9125