Uveitis in Tumor Patients Treated with Immunological Checkpoint- and Signal Transduction Pathway-Inhibitors

Stephan Thurau, Hendrik Engelke, Peter McCluskey, Richard J. Symes, Eline Whist, Barbara Teuchner, Gertrud Haas, Pia Allegri, Luca Cimino, Elena Bolletta, Elisabetta Miserocchi, Marinella Russo, Jeany Q. Li, Arnd Heiligenhaus, Gerhild Wildner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: New tumor therapies like immune checkpoint inhibitors and small molecule inhibitors of MEK and BRAF have increased the patient’s survival rate but can be burdened with severe side-effects including uveitis. Here, we show the spectrum, treatment, and outcome of uveitis types induced by tumor treatment. Methods: In this retrospective study, we have included 54 patients from different centers who were developing uveitis under tumor therapy. A 16-item questionnaire was analyzed for type, treatment, and outcome of uveitis and type of tumor treatment, which we have correlated here. Results: Irrespective of the tumor treatment, most patients developed anterior uveitis. All patients received corticosteroids and some additional immunosuppressive treatments. Cessation of tumor therapy was necessary only in a minority of cases. Conclusions: Ocular autoimmunity should be differentiated from toxic effects of cancer treatment and timely recognized since it can be generally well controlled by anti-inflammatory treatment, preserving the patient’s vision without cessation of the tumor treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 13 2021


  • autoimmune disease
  • BRAF inhibitor
  • eye
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • MEK inhibitor
  • ocular inflammation
  • uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology


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