Immune checkpoint inhibitors for solid organ transplant recipients: clinical updates

Shun Kawashima, Kole Joachim, Maen Abdelrahim, Ala Abudayyeh, Kenar D. Jhaveri, Naoka Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Transplant care continues to advance with increasing clinical experience and improvements in immunosuppressive therapy. As the population ages and long-term survival improves, transplant patient care has become more complex due to comorbidities, frailty, and the increased prevalence of cancer posttransplantation. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have become a standard treatment option for many cancers in non-transplant patients, but the use of ICIs in transplant patients is challenging due to the possibility of disrupting immune tolerance. However, over the past few years, ICIs have gradually started to be used in transplant patients as well. In this study, we review the current use of ICIs after all solid organ transplantation procedures (kidney, liver, heart, and lung). Increasing data suggest that the type and number of immunosuppressants may affect the risk of rejection after immunotherapy. Immunotherapy for cancer in transplant patients may be a feasible option for selected patients; however, prospective trials in specific organ transplant recipients are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-98
Number of pages17
JournalKorean Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 30 2022


  • Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4
  • Graft rejection
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Programmed cell death protein 1
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Transplantation


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