Life-saving cancer treatment could lead to poor vision
Mixed news for people looking to cancer immunotherapy as a hope for treatment
Researchers say that while cancer immunotherapy, which is new type of cancer treatment, holds out the chance of longer survival, it may also lead to side-effects like vision problems.
The research is based on the case studies of three patients who developed a a potentially vision-threatening eye condition called uveal effusion. The patients this after taking cancer immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses a person's own immune system to fight cancer.
Uveal effusion occurs when the eye becomes inflamed and fluid collects in the layers that make up the wall of the eye, say researchers. This leads to blurred vision, and even vision loss.
However, the study authors say that this does not mean people should stop their medications. One, because it is a rare complication. The chances of developing such side effects is low. Two, patients who are on this medication usually have very serious, life-threatening cancer so the medication is needed to control the tumor.
In two of the three cases, the eye problems went away when the drug was stopped for a while.
The treatments improve the survival chances for patients with advanced melanoma and hard-to-treat cancers of the bladder, kidney and lung.