NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Rectal Cancer, Version 1.2017
Overview of cancer treatments
PD-1 inhibitors are a type of medicine that stops the
action of PD-L1. They attach to PD-1 on T-cells. This
blocks PD-L1 on cancer cells from attaching.
. Thus, T-cells are able to attack cancer
There are two types of PD-1 inhibitors used for rectal
cancer. Their structures differ from each other. As a
result, each one attaches to PD-1 in a different way.
They are described next.
Nivolumab is sold as Opdivo
. It is given by infusion
every two weeks. It takes about 60 minutes to
receive the full dose.
One common side effect of nivolumab is feeling tired.
Other common side effects are diarrhea, nausea,
constipation, and not feeling hungry. A rash may
appear on your skin or your skin may itch. You may
get a cough, have trouble breathing, or get an airway
infection. Muscle, bone, and joint pain and fever are
also common. Severe problems with your lungs, gut,
liver, kidney, skin, and hormones may occur.
Pembrolizumab is sold as Keytruda
is given by infusion. It is given every three weeks. It
takes about 30 minutes to receive the full dose.
Side effects are much like those for nivolumab. You
may feel tired. You may also have problems with your
gut, skin, airways, and muscles. Severe problems
with your lungs, gut, liver, kidney, skin, and hormones
Some rectal cancers consist of
cells that have PD-L1 on their
surface. PD-L1 attaches to PD-1
on T-cells. This stops T-cells
from attacking cancer cells. PD-1
inhibitors attach to PD-1 and block
PD-L1. As a result, T-cells are able
to attack cancer cells.
Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network