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Side Effect: Inflammation of the colon (colitis)

What is Inflammation of the colon (colitis)?

Inflammation of the colon, otherwise known as colitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the large intestine.
Colitis can be acute (short in duration) in cases of:

Or, Colitis can be chronic (long-lasting) as seen with:

What does Inflammation of the colon (colitis) look like?

Colitis can look different depending upon the type and severity of the inflammation.

Symptoms of colitis include:

Who gets Inflammation of the colon (colitis)?

Patients with cancer can develop colitis as a side effect of cancer treatment, which tends to have a rapid onset. Colitis can occur as an immune-related adverse event (irAE) in patients with cancer who are receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy such as:

PD-1 inhibitors:

PD-L1 inhibitors:

CTLA-4 inhibitors:

ICIs activate the immune system against cancer cells, but they can also trigger an immune response against healthy tissues, including tissue the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, leading to colitis. ICIs can cause colitis when used alone, but the incidence is higher when two ICI therapies are combined such as a PD-1 inhibitor and CTLA-4 inhibitor.

How to prevent Inflammation of the colon (colitis)

Before treatment:

During Treatment:

How to treat Inflammation of the colon (colitis)


1. Vaziri H, Turshudzhyan A, Vecchio E. Immunotherapy-induced Colitis: A Comprehensive Review of Epidemiology, Clinical Presentation, Diagnostic Workup, and Management Plan. J Clin Gastroenterol 2022;56(7):555-564.

Created: April 26, 2024 Updated: April 26, 2024