Some patients receiving checkpoint inhibitors for lung cancer may experience increased risk for hyperprogressive disease (HPD), according to results of a study reported in JAMA Oncology.

Based on a multicenter study of 406 patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors and 59 patients treated with chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer, researchers found a 13.8% incidence of HPD with immunotherapy compared to 5.1% incidence with chemotherapy. Patients with HPD also had significantly worse overall survival (3.4 months) compared to patients with progression not classified as HPD (6.2 months). HPD historically has been identified in 9% of patients with advanced cancers and 29% of patients with head and neck cancers receiving checkpoint inhibitors.

The researchers said that their findings highlight the importance of quantifying tumor growth rate to understand the difference between natural disease progression and treatment-
associated HPD.