Research Papers:

This article has an addendum. Addendum in: Oncotarget. 2022; 13:1305-1305.

Hyperprogression and impact of tumor growth kinetics after PD1/PDL1 inhibition in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Andy Karabajakian _, Thibaut Garrivier, Carole Crozes, Nicolas Gadot, Jean-Yves Blay, Frédéric Bérard, Philippe Céruse, Philippe Zrounba, Pierre Saintigny, Charles Mastier and Jérôme Fayette

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Oncotarget. 2020; 11:1618-1628. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27563

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Andy Karabajakian1, Thibaut Garrivier2, Carole Crozes3, Nicolas Gadot4, Jean-Yves Blay1, Frédéric Bérard5, Philippe Céruse6, Philippe Zrounba7, Pierre Saintigny4, Charles Mastier2 and Jérôme Fayette1

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

2 Department of Radiology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

3 Department of Pathology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

4 Department of Translational Research and Innovation, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

5 Department of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, CHU Lyon-Sud, Pierre-Bénite, France

6 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Hôpital Universitaire de la Croix-Rousse, Lyon, France

7 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

Correspondence to:

Andy Karabajakian,email: [email protected]

Keywords: squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck; immunotherapy; programmed cell death 1 receptor; kinetics

Received: February 06, 2020     Accepted: April 03, 2020     Published: May 05, 2020


Background: Hyperprogressive disease (HPD) rate in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) was determined using tumor growth kinetics (TGK) and compared with rapidly progressive screen-failure (SF) patients. The impact of TGK on outcomes with salvage chemotherapy (SCT) was also evaluated.

Results: HPD was found in 22/120 (18%) patients. Median TGK before the onset of immunotherapy (TGKpre) was 2.7 for SF patients and 4.8 for HPD patients, with no significant difference (p = 0.17). Disease control rate after initial progressive disease on ICI was 86% with SCT in case of tumor growth deceleration vs 39% in case of tumor growth acceleration.

Conclusions: HPD was frequent, but TGK of HPD patients treated with ICI did not differ from SF patients, suggesting that there is no relevant causal relationship between HPD and ICI. After initial PD with ICI, tumor growth deceleration was associated with better outcomes, indicating that TGKR might be useful to detect late responders, meriting prospective investigations.

Materials and Methods: TGK ratio (TGKR) was defined as the ratio of TGK on ICI (TGKpost) to TGKpre. HPD was defined as TGKR ≥ 2. TGKR >1 indicated tumor growth acceleration, while 0 < TGKR < 1 indicated tumor deceleration.

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