Beneficial effects of adenosine triphosphate on nutritional status in advanced lung cancer patients: a randomized clinical trial

J Clin Oncol. 2002 Jan 15;20(2):371-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2002.20.2.371.


Purpose: In a randomized clinical trial in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), infusion with adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) inhibited loss of body weight and quality of life. In the present article, the effects of ATP on body composition, energy intake, and energy expenditure as secondary outcome measures in the same patients are reported.

Patients and methods: Patients with NSCLC, stage IIIB or IV, were randomized to receive either 10 intravenous, 30-hour ATP infusions every 2 to 4 weeks or no ATP. Fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and arm muscle area were assessed at 4-week intervals for 28 weeks. Food intake, body cell mass (BCM), and resting energy expenditure (REE) were assessed at 8-week intervals for 16 weeks. Between-group differences were tested for statistical significance by repeated-measures analysis of covariance.

Results: Fifty-eight patients were randomized (28 ATP, 30 control). No change in body composition over the 28-week follow-up period was found in the ATP group, whereas, per 4 weeks, the control group lost 0.6 kg of FM (P =.004), 0.5 kg of FFM (P =.02), 1.8% of arm muscle area (P =.02), and 0.6% of BCM/kg body weight (P =.054) and decreased 568 KJ/d in energy intake (P =.0001). Appetite also remained stable in the ATP group but decreased significantly in the control group (P =.0004). No significant differences in REE between the ATP and control groups were observed.

Conclusion: The inhibition of weight loss by ATP infusions in patients with advanced NSCLC is attributed to counteracting the loss of both metabolically active and inactive tissues. These effects are partly ascribed to maintenance of energy intake.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / administration & dosage
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Body Composition
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / complications*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss*


  • Adenosine Triphosphate