CTLA-4 Antagonists, also referred to as CD152, are a class of drugs used for the treatment of advanced cancerous conditions. CTLA-4 antagonists work by activating the immune system to target cancer cells. The immune system in the body is mainly comprised of T-cells which can identify and annihilate cancer cells. Biochemical evidence suggest this process is normally interrupted by the CTLA-4 protein, which is found on the outer layer of the T cells. CTLA-4 protein stops the T-cells from attacking cancerous growths. The CTLA-4 Antagonists class of drugs are therefore meant to target the CTLA-4 protein and prevent them from shutting off the T-cells attack mode.
CTLA-4 Antagonists Drugs
Drugs classified as CTLA-4 antagonists are listed below.
CTLA-4 Antagonists Uses
CTLA-4 antagonists work to combat specific forms of cancer. The CTLA-4 Antagonists class of drugs are primarily used in the treatment of melanoma which is a form of skin cancer. CTLA-4 antagonists are not normally used as the first wave of attack but rather when surgery have been ineffective.
In the US, CTLA-4 antagonists have been approved to be administered when surgery has failed to remove the cancer cells. In Canada, CTLA-4 antagonists have been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and are administered to patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment. In Europe, they have been approved as the secondary treatment of metastatic melanoma.
CTLA-4 Antagonists Side Effects
Due to the way this class of drugs work, some serious side effects which can result in death may occur. Because of this, CTLA-4 antagonists are never the first option for treating cancer.
General side effects are immunological and predominantly centered on the gastrointestinal tract, such as those listed below.
- Stomach pain
- Respiratory difficulties
- Difficulty urinating
It is important that you consult a qualified physician before you take these classes of drugs or if you experience any difficulties while taking them.
CTLA-4 Antagonists Interactions
Because of the side effects caused by the use of these drugs, it is important that proper care is taken while considering which drugs are to be administered alongside these CTLA-4 antagonists. The use of the following drugs may result in complications.