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Influenza vaccine may cause exaggerated immune response in patients on cancer immunotherapy

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Cancer patients being treated with a specific type of immunotherapy may be at greater risk from adverse events after the annual influenza injection, a small study showed.
Cancer patients being treated with a specific type of immunotherapy may be at greater risk from adverse events after the annual influenza injection, research suggests.
A small study presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva[1] on 26 April 2017 found that in 23 patients receiving PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors, the flu vaccine was associated with a higher than average rate of immune related side effects.
This is particularly concerning for those patients with lung cancer who are at risk of complications from influenza because of their condition if they were to remain unvaccinated, the researchers said.
The most common immune-related adverse events reported were skin rashes and arthritis (13% each), followed by colitis and encephalitis (8.7% each), hypothyroidism, pneumonitis..