Immunotherapy can accelerate cancer progression

Immunotherapy can accelerate cancer progression

Hyperprogressive Disease, is not as rare as first thought when using immunotherapy drugs. Several research studies are now making the issue clearer. 


A 2016 French study (1) originally showed hyperprogression (where the drug causes an increased rate of cancer growth) in 12 out of 131 patients on a PD -1 inhibitor. However this 9% figure could be really 18% as it turned out that a number of people exhibiting hyperprogression were removed from the trial! And the problem seems worse as you get older – 19% in the over 65s against just 5% in the under 65s.


Now a new study(2) on patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has shown a figure of 16% on a worldwide sample of 242 patients taking a PD-1.
Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and Founder of CANCERactive said, "If 16-19% is a correct figure, it means roughly the same number of people get cancer progression from their immunotherapy drug, as gain benefit."  



  1. Campies S, Dercle L, Ammari S, et al. Hyperprogressive disease (HPD) is a new pattern of progression in cancer patients treated by anti-PD-1/PD-L1.Clin Cancer Res. 2016;23(8):1920-1928. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-16-1741.

  2. Ferrara R, Caramella C, Texier M, et al. Hyperprogressive disease (HPD) is frequent in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients (pts) treated with anti PD1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies (IO). Presented at: 2017 ESMO Congress; September 8-12, 2017; Madrid, Spain. Abstract 1306PD 
2018 Research
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