NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 45

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Melanoma, Version 1.2014
43
4
Overview melanoma treatments Side effects of cancer treatments
Side effects of immunotherapy
Side effects of immunotherapy depend on the drug,
how it is given, the amount taken, the length of
treatment, and the person. When given in high doses,
some immunotherapy drugs can cause very serious
side effects. Some of the more common side effects
of each immunotherapy drug used for melanoma are
listed below.
Interleukin-2:
• Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache,
tiredness, body aches),
• Low blood pressure,
• Nausea and/or vomiting,
• Shortness of breath,
• Confusion,
• Fluid buildup,
• Heart damage,
• Skin rash, and
• Abnormal blood tests suggesting liver or
kidney problems.
Interferon:
• Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, tiredness,
headache, body aches),
• Nausea,
• Vomiting,
• Not feeling hungry,
• Depression,
• Hair thinning, and
• Liver damage.
Ipilimumab:
• Fatigue,
• Diarrhea,
• Skin rash, and
• Itching.
Ipilimumab can cause serious side effects such as
severe inflammation and problems in the intestines,
liver, nerves, skin, eyes, and hormone glands. See
Principles of systemic therapy
on page 80 for more
details.
Side effects of targeted therapy
Side effects of targeted therapy depend on the drug,
dose, length of treatment, and the person. Some side
effects listed below are caused only by one targeted
drug. Others are caused by both targeted drugs but
differ in how likely they are to occur. Common side
effects of targeted drugs for melanoma include:
• Joint and/or muscle pain,
• Headache,
• Fever,
• Fatigue,
• Hair loss,
• Skin rash and/or itching,
• Other skin cancer (not melanoma),
• Sun sensitivity,
• Nausea and/or vomiting,
• Low blood cell counts,
• Swelling, and
• Diarrhea.
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