HOW DO PD-1/PD-L1 INHIBITORS WORK?
Programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1)/ programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors are drugs used for treating various cancers. PD-L1 is a protein that tends to keep our immune responses under control. PD-L1 is mainly found in some types of cancer cells and some healthy cells.
When PD-L1 binds to the protein PD-1 that is found on the T cells of the immune system, it prevents T cells from destroying PD-L1-containing cancer cells. PD-L1 inhibitors bind to PD-L1 protein and obstruct its binding to PD-1, thus allowing the T cells to destroy the cancer cells.
HOW ARE PD-1/PD-L1 INHIBITORS USED?
PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors are used for treating:
- Urothelial carcinoma (cancer of the lining of the urinary tract)
- Merkel cell carcinoma (a form of skin cancer)
- Renal cell carcinoma (cancer of the kidney cells)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer)
- Nonsmall cell lung cancer (a type of lung cancer)
- Melanoma (a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes grow uncontrollably)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF PD-1/PD-L1 INHIBITORS?
Some of the side effects of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors include:
- Decreased appetite
- Urinary tract infection
- Back or neck pain
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Blood in the urine
- Hair fall
- Muscle pain
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE NAMES OF PD-1/PD-L1 INHIBITORS?
Generic and brand names of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors include:
- Balstilimab (pending FDA approval)
- Penpulimab (pending FDA approval)
- Retifanlimab (pending FDA approval)
- Sintilimab (pending FDA approval)