Background: Previous evidence suggests that metabolically supported chemotherapy (MSCT), ketogenic diet, hyperthermia and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) could all target vulnerabilities of cancer cells. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and the tolerability of this combination therapy in the treatment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: Forty-four NSCLC patients with distant metastasis that received MSCT (administration of chemotherapy regimen following induced hypoglycemia) plus ketogenic diet, hyperthermia and HBOT combination were included in this retrospective study. Survival and treatment response rates as well as toxicities were evaluated.
Results: Overall response rate (ORR, complete response plus partial response) was 61.4%; whereas, 15.9% and 22.7% of patients had stable disease (SD) and progressive disease (PD), respectively. Mean overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was 42.9 months (95% CI: 34.0-51.8) and 41.0 months (95% CI: 31.1-50.9), respectively. A higher Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (ECOG ≥2) was associated with worse OS and PFS. Patients received chemotherapy cycles with acceptable toxicity and adverse events. No problems were encountered due to fasting, hypoglycemia, ketogenic diet, hyperthermia or hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Conclusions: Findings of this study suggest that MSCT combined with other modalities targeting multiple pathways and cellular vulnerabilities may bring about remarkable improvements in survival outcomes and treatment response rates in metastatic NSCLC, without additional safety concerns. Large comparative studies are warranted to draw robust conclusions.
Keywords: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT); hyperthermia; ketogenic diet; metabolically supported chemotherapy (MSCT); warburg hypothesis.