Background: Nitroglycerin (NTG) increases tumor blood flow and oxygenation by inhibiting hypoxia-inducible-factor (HIF)-1. A randomized phase II study has shown improved outcome when NTG patches were added to vinorelbine/cisplatin in patients with advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In addition, there is evidence that the combination of bevacizumab and HIF-1 inhibitors increases antitumor activity. Patients and methods: In this randomized phase II trial, chemo-naive patients with stage IV nonsquamous NSCLC were randomized to four cycles of carboplatin (area under the curve 6)-paclitaxel (200 mg/m2)-bevacizumab 15 mg/kg on day 1 every 3 weeks with or without NTG patches 15 mg (day -2 to +2) followed by bevacizumab with or without NTG until progression. Response was assessed every two cycles. Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). The study was powered (80%) to detect a decrease in the hazard of tumor progression of 33% at α = 0.05 with a two-sided log-rank test when 222 patients were enrolled and followed until 195 events were observed. Results: Between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2013, a total of 223 patients were randomized; 112 control arm and 111 experimental arm; response rate was 54% in control arm and 38% in experimental arm. Median [95% confidence interval (CI)] PFS in control arm was 6.8 months (5.6-7.3) and 5.1 months (4.2-5.8) in experimental arm, hazard ratio (HR) 1.27 (95% CI 0.96-1.67). Overall survival (OS) was 11.6 months (8.8-13.6) in control arm and 9.4 months (7.8-11.3) in experimental arm, HR 1.02 (95% CI 0.71-1.46). In the experimental arm, no additional toxicity was observed except headache (6% versus 52% in patients treated with NTG). Conclusion: Adding NTG to first-line carboplatin-paclitaxel-bevacizumab did not improve PFS and OS in patients with stage IV nonsquamous NSCLC.

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Annals of Oncology

Dingemans, A.-M., Groen, H., Herder, G. J. M., Stigt, J.A. (J. A.), Smit, E.F. (E. F.), Bahce, I. (I.), … Aerts, J.G. (J. G.). (2015). A randomized phase II study comparing paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab with or without nitroglycerin patches in patients with stage IV nonsquamous nonsmall-cell lung cancer: NVALT12 (NCT01171170). Annals of Oncology, 26(11), 2286–2293. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdv370