A randomized phase II trial of best supportive care with or without hyperthermia and vitamin C for heavily pretreated, advanced, refractory non-small-cell lung cancer
Our previous study indicated that intravenous vitamin C (IVC) treatment concurrent with modulated electrohyperthermia (mEHT) was safe and improved the quality of life (QoL) of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The aim of this trial was to further verify the efficacy of the above combination therapy in previously treated patients with refractory advanced (stage IIIb or IV) NSCLC. A total of 97 patients were randomized to receive IVC and mEHT plus best supportive care (BSC) (n = 49 in the active arm, receiving 1 g/kg * d IVC concurrently with mEHT, three times a week for 25 treatments in total) or BSC alone (n = 48 in the control arm). After a median follow-up of 24 months, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly prolonged by combination therapy compared to BSC alone (PFS: 3 months vs 1.85 months, P < 0.05; OS: 9.4 months vs 5.6 months, P < 0.05). QoL was significantly increased in the active arm despite the advanced stage of disease. The 3-month disease control rate after treatment was 42.9% in the active arm and 16.7% in the control arm (P < 0.05). Overall, IVC and mEHT may have the ability to improve the prognosis of patients with advanced NSCLC.