Understanding cancer cells and PD-L1

Your immune system helps to protect you against infection and disease. It does this through a collection of specialized organs and cells. Normally, your immune system is able to detect and remove abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.

Some cancer cells can go undetected by your immune system. One way they can go undetected is through a protein called programmed death-ligand 1, or PD-L1. This protein is found on many cells, including cancer cells. PD-L1 on cancer cells may bind to your immune cells. When it does this, the cancer cell is seen as a healthy cell. This may prevent your immune system from being able to recognize and attack your cancer.

TECENTRIQ can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung problems (pneumonitis)–signs and symptoms of pneumonitis may include new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain
  • Liver problems (hepatitis)–signs and symptoms of hepatitis may include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, severe nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen), drowsiness, dark urine (tea colored), bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, and feeling less hungry than usual
  • Intestinal problems (colitis)–signs and symptoms of colitis may include diarrhea (loose stools) or more bowel movements than usual, blood or mucus in your stools or dark, tarry, sticky stools, and severe stomach area (abdomen) pain or tenderness
  • Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, and pituitary)–signs and symptoms that your hormone glands are not working properly may include headaches that will not go away or unusual headaches, extreme tiredness, weight gain or weight loss, dizziness or fainting, feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, hair loss, changes in mood or behavior (such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness), feeling cold, constipation, your voice gets deeper, urinating more often than usual, nausea or vomiting, and stomach area (abdomen) pain
  • Problems in other organs–signs and symptoms may include severe muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, confusion, blurry vision, double vision, or other vision problems, changes in mood or behavior, extreme sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, eye pain or redness, skin blisters or peeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or swelling of the ankles
  • Severe infections–signs and symptoms of infection may include fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, pain when urinating, and frequent urination or back pain
  • Severe infusion reactions–signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, itching or rash, flushing, shortness of breath or wheezing, swelling of your face or lips, dizziness, fever, feeling like passing out, and back or neck pain

How is TECENTRIQ thought to work?

TECENTRIQ is a cancer immunotherapy that can help reactivate the immune system so it can recognize cancer cells in the body. TECENTRIQ is an anti–PD-L1 antibody, meaning it is designed to block PD-L1. By blocking PD-L1, TECENTRIQ is thought to reveal cancer cells. This process helps your immune system recognize, target, and attack your cancer. TECENTRIQ may also affect normal cells.

Call or see your healthcare provider right away if you experience any symptoms listed here or those symptoms get worse.

A closer look at how TECENTRIQ may work in your body

Committed to cancer treatment

Genentech is committed to discovering new and different approaches to treat cancer. Watch some of the Genentech scientists behind the development of TECENTRIQ discuss their commitment to changing how cancer is treated.

Could cancer immunotherapy help you?

How TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) May Help NSCLC

Discover how TECENTRIQ has helped others.

Still have questions?

Questions for Your Doctor about NSCLC

Discover how you can make the most of your next doctor visit.