Oncol Lett. 2020 Dec;20(6):307. doi: 10.3892/ol.2020.12170. Epub 2020 Sep 29.
Metronomic chemotherapy (MCT) is defined as the rhythmic chemotherapy of low-dose cytotoxic drugs with short or no drug-free breaks over prolonged periods. MCT affects tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment. Particularly, the low-dose schedule impairs the repair process of endothelial cells, resulting in an anti-angiogenesis effect. By stimulating the immune system to eliminate tumor cells, MCT induces immunological activation. Furthermore, combined with targeted therapy, anti-angiogenic
drugs enhance the efficacy of MCT. The present review is an overview of phase I, II and III clinical trials focusing on the efficacy, toxicity and mechanism of MCT in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Furthermore, the prospects of MCT in NSCLC have been discussed. The present review indicated that MCT is an efficacious treatment for selected patients with NSCLC, with acceptable systemic side effects and economic viability for public health.