Immunotherapy by checkpoint inhibition is about to profoundly change cancer therapy. The number of indications are growing at an unprecedented speed. Clinical studies have demonstrated efficacy in a variety of solid tumors and in hematologic malignancies, although some clinical trials have produced negative results. Thus, it is fair to assume that there are obvious limitations and pitfalls in immunotherapy. Future concepts for combination treatment of immune checkpoint inhibitors have to be developed, but there is also urgent need for better and standardized biomarkers to identify those cancer patients who will benefit from treatment by checkpoint inhibition. The current overview summarizes current knowledge on immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment in malignancies, its outlook and limitations, diagnostic means and, finally, side effect management.