Neuro-Oncology Immunotherapy: The Neuro-Oncologist’s Friend or Foe?

Date/Time: Monday, October 14, 2019 - 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Level: Special Interest Group
Room: Majestic A
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The use of anti-cancer immunotherapies has dramatically increased and is an area of active investigation in patients with primary brain tumors. Agents span immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T cells and vaccines. Some of these agents interrupt mechanisms involved in prevention of auto-immunity or have pro-inflammatory properties. As a result, a wide-ranging spectrum of neurologic inflammatory adverse events have emerged posing diagnostic and therapeutic challenges that neurologists need to address. This session will review advances in immunotherapy of primary brain tumors and discuss neurologic complications of immunotherapy including encephalitis, myelitis, peripheral neuropathies, radiculopathies, neuro-muscular junction disorders and myositis. The rationale for targeting the immune system in brain tumor therapy and the results of ongoing trials will be discussed. The mechanisms underlying neurologic adverse effects, and their diagnosis and management will be reviewed.


  • To recognize strategies to manage the unique adverse events related to use of anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1 antibodies and CAR-T cell therapies.
    To describe the rationale for targeting the immune system in the treatment of brain tumors
    To evaluate results of ongoing clinical trials examining immunotherapy agents as part of treatment paradigms.