Toxicity of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have emerged as a promising therapeutic approach in the evolving field of cancer therapy. These inhibitors target immune checkpoints, such as PD-1, PD-L1 and CTLA-4, to unleash the cancer-fighting immune system. While ICIs have revolutionized the field of oncology, their use comes with the complex challenge of understanding and managing toxicity.

Creative Biolabs provides our customers with knowledge sharing related to ICI toxicity and preclinical services to assess ICI toxicity.

Preclinical Toxicity Studies for ICI

Preclinical studies play a pivotal role in evaluating the safety and toxicological profiles of immune checkpoint inhibitors. These studies involve the systematic examination of drug-related toxicity in animal models, shedding light on the potential adverse effects before advancing to human trials. These studies encompass various parameters to decipher the complexity of ICI toxicity, such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, immunotoxicity, organ-specific toxicity, and dose-dependent effects.

By revealing the complexity through preclinical studies, researchers can optimize the development of ICIs, ensuring a delicate balance between efficacy and safety.

Key Aspects of ICI Toxicity Assessment

In order to grasp the complexity of ICI toxicity, numerous key aspects should be carefully evaluated during preclinical studies. We can provide in vivo model development services for ICI to perform the following key assays.

  • Pharmacokinetics. Pharmacokinetic studies within preclinical toxicity assessments shed light on how immune checkpoint inhibitors are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted within the body. Bursting with data on drug concentrations, bioavailability, and half-life, these studies elucidate the intricate pharmacokinetic properties that dictate the efficacy and toxicity of ICIs.
  • Pharmacodynamics. Preclinical toxicity studies explore the effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors at the cellular and molecular levels. By examining biomarkers, immune cell activation, and cytokine release patterns, researchers can gain insights into the mechanisms of action and potential off-target effects of ICIs.
  • Immunotoxicity. With information on immune cell subsets, cytokine imbalances, and immune organ histopathology, these studies unravel the potential risks associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. By elucidating the delicate balance between immune activation and immune-related adverse events, researchers can optimize the therapeutic index and minimize toxicities.
  • Organ-specific toxicities. By meticulously examining histopathological changes, organ-specific biomarkers, and physiological parameters, researchers gain a comprehensive understanding of potential adverse effects. These studies unravel the complexities of organ-specific toxicities.
  • Dose-dependent effects. Understanding the relationship between dose and toxicity is crucial in the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors. With data on dose-response curves, therapeutic windows, and maximum tolerated doses, preclinical toxicity studies offer a nuanced perspective on the dose-dependent effects of ICIs.

Significance in Guiding ICI Development

Preclinical toxicity studies hold immense significance in guiding the development of ICIs.

  • These studies provide crucial insights that inform decision-making at various stages of drug development.
  • They facilitate dose optimization, aid in the identification of potential adverse events, and guide the design of clinical trials.
  • These findings have enabled the medical community to harness the potential of ICIs while minimizing the associated risks.

Through preclinical toxicity studies, we can explore drug effects and optimize the use of ICIs in the fight against cancer. Creative Biolabs is committed to supporting immune checkpoint-related research with preclinical research services.


  1. Deng R, et al. Preclinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, tissue distribution, and tumor penetration of anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, an immune checkpoint inhibitor. MAbs, 2016, 8(3): 593-603.
  2. Ciccarese C, et al. New toxicity profile for novel immunotherapy agents: focus on immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Expert opinion on drug metabolism & toxicology, 2016, 12(1): 57-75.

All listed customized services & products are for research use only, not intended for pharmaceutical, diagnostic, therapeutic, or any in vivo human use.