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Table 1 Clinical uses of NCTD in treatment of cancer patients and the related results and outcomes

From: Insight into norcantharidin, a small-molecule synthetic compound with potential multi-target anticancer activities

Cancers n Therapies and usages of NCTD Efficient (CR + PR) Symptoms or LQ improving Tumor marker decreasing Tumor size reducing Survival time prolonging Side effects alleviating References
Method Dose Course Group
PHC (I–III stage) 244 po or iv 10 mg, tid; or 5–20 mg, qd, iv 1–18 month    58.6% (AFP) 39% Yes, 40.7% MST 7 month
1 year SR 30%
Yes, WBC↑72% [25]
PHC (I–III stage) 86 iti iti, 20 mg, qw
po, 10 mg, tid
4 weeks
3–6 months
iti vs. po   Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05 1 year SR, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05 [26]
PHC (I–III stage) 41 iv + po 10 mg, qd, iv
5 mg, qd, po
1 month
1–3 months
   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, 31.7% MST 6.8 month
1 year SR 17.7%
Yes, WBC↑59% [27]
PHC (II–III stage) 76 po + Chem po, 10 mg, tid
Chem., FAM regimen
3–12weeks po + Chem
vs. Chem
  (AFP) 39% 66% vs. 35%
P < 0.05
NS NS [28]
PHC (II–III stage) 75 po + TCM 10 mg, tid, po
GFL, 10 tab, tid, po
3 months NCTD + GFL vs.
NCTD or GFL
  Yes CR + PR, P < 0.05
84% vs. 7% or 53%
Yes 1 year SR, P < 0.05
41% vs. 27% or 12%
Yes [29]
PHC (Ad) 54 iti NCTD-P407, 2–4 ml, qw 2–3 weeks NCTD-P407 vs. TACE   Yes, P < 0.05 NS NS NS Yes, P < 0.05 [30]
PHC (Ad) 56 iti NCTD-P407, 2–4 ml, qw
Ethanol 4-8 ml, qw
2–3 weeks
6–8 weeks
   NS   NS 1 year SR, P < 0.05 NS [31]
PHC (Ad) 80 po + IVT IVT, 1/m × 4
po, 5–10 mg, tid
4 months
3 months
po + IVT vs. placebo + IVT
placebo + IVT
   Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [32]
PHC (Ad) 43 iv + Chem 30 mg, iv, qd × 10
5-FU + CF regimen
20 days iv + Chem
vs. Chem
  Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [33]
PHC (Ad) 47 iv + TACE 10–20 mg, iv qd 1–2 months iv + TACE
vs. TACE
  Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05    [34]
PHC (Ad) 60 po + TCM 10–15 mg, po, tid 3 months po + TCM
vs. TCM
Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05      [35]
PHC (Ad) 79 po + TCM 15 mg, po, tid 2 month po + TCM vs. Chem/IVT   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 MST, 16 month vs. 11 month
P < 0.01
Yes, P < 0.05 [36]
SHC 60 po + Chem 15 mg, po, tid 3 months po + Chem
vs. Chem
  Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [37]
GC (Ad) 50 iv + Chem 30 mg, iv qd × 7–10 6 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
NS Yes, P = 0.02   NS   Yes, P < 0.05 [38]
GC II-III (post-op.) 82 po + Chem 15 mg, po, tid
PLF regimen
6 months
4 weeks × 6
po + Chem
vs. Chem
     3 year SR, P < 0.05
3 year RR, P < 0.05
Yes, P < 0.05 [39]
EC 58 iv + RT 30 mg, iv, qd × 10
RT,200GY, qd × 5
4 weeks
2 weeks
iv + RT
vs. RT
Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [40]
CC (III stage) 264 iv + RT 20–30 mg, iv, qd
RT,20GY, qd × 5
6–8 weeks iv + RT
vs. RT
    NS Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05 [41]
NHL 86 iv + Chem 15–25 mg, iv, qd
CHOP regimen
2 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
NS Yes, P < 0.05   NS NS Yes, P < 0.05 [42]
NHL 57 iv + Chem 30–40 mg, iv, qd
CTOP regimen
2 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
NS Yes, P < 0.05   NS   Yes, P < 0.05 [43]
LC (Ad) 60 iv + Chem 20 mg, iv, qd × 7
CVI regimen
9 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
    Yes, P < 0.05   NS [44]
NSCLC (Ad) 50 iv + Chem 20 mg, iv, qd × 7
DP regimen
  iv + Chem
vs. Chem
    Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [45]
NSCLC (III-IVstage) 85 iv + Chem 60–100 ml, iv, qd × 14
PTC protocol
8 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.01 [46]
NSCLC (III-IVstage) 180 iv + Chem 30 mg, iv, qd × 21
GC protocol
9 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
Yes, P = 0.007    Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.05 [47]
NSCLC (Ad) 80 iv + Chem 40 ml, iv, qd × 14
DDP protocol
8 weeks iv + Chem
vs. Chem
Yes, P < 0.05 Yes, P < 0.01   Yes, P < 0.05   Yes, P < 0.01 [48]
  1. NCTD, norcantharidin; PHC, primary hepatic cancer; SHC, secondary hepatic cancer; GC, gastric cancer; EC, esophageal cancer; CC, cervical cancer; NHL, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; LC, lung cancer; NSCLC, non-small cell lung cancer; Ad, advanced; Chem., chemotherapy; RT, radiotherapy; IVT, interventional therapy; TCM, traditional Chinese medicine; P407, Poloxamer 407; po, per os; iv, intravenous drip; iti, intro-tumor injection; TACE, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; qd, one a day, quaque die; tid, three times a day, ter in die; qw, one a week; LQ, life quality, Karuafsky score; MST, median survival time; SR, survival rate; CR, complete response; PR, partial response; P < 0.05, statistically significant difference; NS, no significant difference