1st generation 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor antagonists (5-HT3 RAs), and palonosetron, a 2nd generation 5-HT3 RA, are indicated for the prevention of chemotherapy (CT)-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) associated with moderately (MEC) and highly emetogenic CT agents (HEC). This study explores the impact of step therapy policies requiring use of an older 5-HT3 RA before palonosetron on risk of CINV associated with hospital or emergency department (ED) admissions.
Patients who received cyclophosphamide post breast cancer (BC) surgery or who were diagnosed with lung cancer on carboplatin (LC-carboplatin) or cisplatin (LC-cisplatin) were selected from PharMetrics’ (IMS LifeLink) claims dataset (2005-2008). Patients were followed for 6 months from initial CT administration for CINV events identified through ICD-9-CM codes. Patients were grouped into those initiated with older, generic 5-HT3 RAs (ondansetron, granisetron, and dolasetron) and those initiated and maintained on palonosetron throughout study follow-up. CINV events and CINV days were analyzed using multivariate regressions controlling for demographic and clinical variables.
Eligible patients numbered 3,606 in BC, 4,497 in LC-carboplatin and 1,154 in LC-cisplatin cohorts, with 52%, 40%, and 34% in the palonosetron group, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two 5-HT3 RA groups in age or Charlson Comorbidity Index among the two MEC cohorts (BC and LC-carboplatin). Among the LC-cisplatin cohort, palonosetron users were older with more males than the older 5-HT3 RA group (age: 60.1 vs. 61.3; males, 66.9% vs. 56.9%). Compared to the older 5-HT3 RAs, the palonosetron groups incurred 22%-51% fewer 5-HT3 RA pharmacy claims, had fewer patients with CINV events (3.5% vs. 5.5% in BC, 9.5% vs. 12.8% in LC-carboplatin, 16.4% vs. 21.7% in LC-cisplatin), and had lower risk for CINV events (odds ratios 0.62, 0.71, or 0.71, respectively; p < 0.05). The BC and LC-carboplatin palonosetron groups experienced 50% and 30% fewer CINV days than the generic 5-HT3 RA group (p < 0.05).
Patients with breast or lung cancer initiated and maintained on palonosetron were at significantly lower risk for potentially costly CINV versus those on older 5-HT3 RAs. Further studies on impact of step therapy policy are warranted in order to minimize the clinical and economic burden of CINV.
Subcutaneous APF530 provides controlled sustained release of granisetron to prevent acute (0–24 h) and delayed (24–120 h) chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). This randomized, double-blind phase 3 trial compared APF530 and palonosetron in preventing acute and delayed CINV after moderately (MEC) or highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC).
Patients receiving single-day MEC or HEC received single-dose APF530 250 or 500 mg subcutaneously (SC) (granisetron 5 or 10 mg) or intravenous palonosetron 0.25 mg. Primary objectives were to establish APF530 noninferiority to palonosetron for preventing acute CINV following MEC or HEC and delayed CINV following MEC and to determine APF530 superiority to palonosetron for preventing delayed CINV following HEC. The primary efficacy end point was complete response (CR [using CI difference for APF530 − palonosetron]). A lower confidence bound greater than −15 % indicated noninferiority.
In the modified intent-to-treat population (MEC = 634; HEC = 707), both APF530 doses were noninferior to palonosetron in preventing acute CINV after MEC (CRs 74.8 % [−9.8, 9.3] and 76.9 % [−7.5, 11.4], respectively, vs. 75.0 % palonosetron) and after HEC (CRs 77.7 % [−11.5, 5.5] and 81.3 % [-7.7, 8.7], respectively, vs. 80.7 % palonosetron). APF530 500 mg was noninferior to palonosetron in preventing delayed CINV after MEC (CR 58.5 % [−9.5, 12.1] vs. 57.2 % palonosetron) but not superior in preventing delayed CINV after HEC. Adverse events were generally mild and unrelated to treatment, the most common (excluding injection-site reactions) being constipation.
A single subcutaneous APF530 injection offers a convenient alternative to palonosetron for preventing acute and delayed CINV after MEC or HEC.
Cancer; Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV); Extended-release; Granisetron; Subcutaneous; APF530
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a common side effect of chemotherapy, and may present during the administration of chemotherapy (ie, acute CINV) or within 25 to 120 hours of chemotherapy (ie, delayed CINV). Preventing CINV with the initiation of chemotherapy is important, because the risk for CINV in future chemotherapy cycles increases if CINV occurs in the first or previous treatment cycle. Inadequately controlled CINV is associated with increased resource utilization and costs, particularly for patients receiving highly or moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.
To evaluate the clinical and economic impacts of delayed CINV events in patients who receive initial and maintenance therapy with the newer-generation 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptor antagonist (5-HT3-RA) palonosetron compared with patients who receive initial and maintenance therapy with an older 5-HT3-RA agent.
A retrospective database analysis was conducted using the OptumInsight database covering the years 2005–2011 (96% commercially insured members, 4% Medicaid members). Patients with cancer who received initial therapy with an emetogenic single-day chemotherapy regimen and a 5-HT3-RA agent (ie, dolasetron, granisetron, ondansetron, or palonosetron) were included in the analysis. The outcomes measured included the overall rates of delayed CINV for cycles 1 to 6, by 5-HT3-RA cohort. For cycles 2 to 6, calculations were based on patients who experienced CINV in the previous cycle, maintained the same 5-HT3-RA for all cycles, and had chemotherapy with a similar level of emetic potential. The economic outcomes (ie, cost and utilization) were also collected and calculated.
A total of 26,974 patients were included in the analysis. The overall rate for delayed CINV at cycle 1 was 15.6%, and the lowest rate was for palonosetron at 15%. The patients who initiated palonosetron had lower CINV rates throughout all cycles. The regression analysis compared individual agents to palonosetron and demonstrated higher odds of CINV in the second cycle for the older agents (ondansetron: odds ratio [OR], 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14–1.74; P <.002; granisetron: OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.39–2.08; P <.001; dolasetron: OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.27–2.15; P = .002). This trend continued through cycle 6, and not all ORs were significant. Over 6 cycles, ondansetron cost an additional $126,775 compared with palonosetron; granisetron an additional $169,838 versus palonosetron; and dolasetron an additional $148,960.
Current guidelines support the use of 5-HT3-RA agents for the prevention of CINV. As shown in this analysis, the selection of a specific 5-HT3-RA agent has a clinical and subsequent economic impact on patients with cancer experiencing delayed CINV. Specifically, patients receiving therapy with palonosetron had a lower incidence of delayed CINV and incurred lower overall costs.
Palonosetron (Aloxi®, Onicit®) is a pharmacologically unique 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (RA) approved as a single IV injection for the prevention of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy (CINV) of either moderate or highly emetogenic potential (MEC and HEC, respectively). An oral palonosetron formulation has been developed and compared to the IV formulation.
In this multinational, multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, dose-ranging trial, 651 patients were randomly assigned to receive one of the following as a single dose prior to moderately emetogenic chemotherapy: oral palonosetron 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 mg or IV palonosetron 0.25 mg. Patients were also randomized (1:1) to receive dexamethasone 8 mg IV or matched placebo on day 1. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR; no emesis, no rescue therapy) during the acute phase (0–24 h).
Acute CR rates were 73.5, 76.3, 74.1, and 70.4 % for all patients receiving the palonosetron 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 mg oral doses, and for IV palonosetron 0.25 mg, respectively; delayed CR (24–120 h) rates were 59.4, 62.5, 60.1, and 65.4 %, and overall CR (0–120 h) rates were 53.5, 58.8, 53.2, and 59.3 %, respectively. The addition of dexamethasone improved emetic control (acute CR rate) by at least 15 % for all groups except oral palonosetron 0.25 mg, where the acute CR improvement was approximately 7 %. Adverse events were similar in nature, incidence, and intensity for all oral and IV palonosetron groups, and were the expected adverse events for 5-HT3 RAs (primarily headache and constipation).
Oral palonosetron has a similar efficacy and safety profile as IV palonosetron 0.25 mg and may be the preferred formulation in certain clinical situations. Among the tested oral treatments, a palonosetron 0.50-mg oral dose has been favored for the prevention of CINV in patients receiving moderately emetogenic chemotherapy due to a numerical gain in efficacy without a side effect disadvantage.
Palonosetron; Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; Moderately emetogenic chemotherapy; 5-Ht3 receptor antagonist
A phase III trial assessed the efficacy of palonosetron plus dexamethasone given once in preventing acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) following a broad range of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC) regimens.
This multicentre, randomized, open-label, non-inferiority trial evaluated two different treatment groups. One group received palonosetron (0.25 mg intravenously) and dexamethasone (8 mg intravenously) before chemotherapy, while the other was administered the same regimen on day 1 followed by dexamethasone 8 mg orally on days 2 and 3. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR; defined as no emetic episodes and no rescue medication) during the overall phase (days 1–5 after chemotherapy initiation). The non-inferiority margin was predefined as a 15% difference between groups in the primary endpoint.
Of 332 chemotherapy-naïve patients included in the intention-to-treat analysis, 65.1% were female, and 35.2% received anthracycline plus cyclophosphamide (AC)-based regimens. Overall CR rates were 67.5% for those administered dexamethasone only on day 1 (n = 166), and 71.1% for those also administered dexamethasone on days 2 and 3 (n = 166; difference −3.6% (95% confidence interval, −13.5 to 6.3)). CR rates were not significantly different between groups during the acute (0–24 h post-chemotherapy; 88.6% versus 84.3%; P = 0.262) and delayed phases (days 2–5; 68.7% versus 77.7%; P = 0.116).
Palonosetron plus single-dose dexamethasone administered before common MEC regimens provide protection against acute and delayed CINV which is non-inferior to that of palonosetron plus dexamethasone for 3 days. However, the major benefit of the single-day regimen occurs in patients receiving non-AC MEC regimens.
Palonosetron; Serotonin antagonists; Dexamethasone; Moderately emetogenic chemotherapy; Nausea; Vomiting
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is associated with a significant deterioration in quality of life. The emetogenicity of the chemotherapeutic agents, repeated chemotherapy cycles, and patient risk factors significantly influence CINV. The use of a combination of a 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, dexamethasone, and a neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist has significantly improved the control of acute and delayed emesis in single-day chemotherapy. Palonosetron, a second generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist with a different half-life, different binding capacity, and a different mechanism of action than the first generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, appears to be the most effective agent in its class. Netupitant, is a new NK-1 receptor antagonist with a high binding affinity, a long half-life of 90 hours, is metabolized by CYP3A4, and is an inhibitor of CYP3A4. NEPA is an oral fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron which has recently been employed in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials for the prevention of CINV in patients receiving moderately and highly emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC and HEC). The clinical trials demonstrated that NEPA (300 mg of netupitant plus 0.50 mg of palonosetron) significantly improved the prevention of CINV compared to the use of palonosetron alone in patients receiving either HEC or MEC. The clinical efficacy was maintained over multiple cycles of chemotherapy. NEPA (Akynzeo®) has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.
5-HT3 receptor antagonists; NK-1 receptor antagonists; palonosetron; netupitant; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
The goal of pharmacological prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) should be the elimination of both nausea and vomiting symptoms during all planned chemotherapy cycles. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a single dose of palonosetron and dexamethasone to prevent CINV and to guarantee an adequate food intake (FI) in patients receiving several cycles of multiple day-based chemotherapy (MD-CT).
Patients with advanced cancer but without a compromised nutritional status (bone mass index ≥ 18.5) were treated with 0.25 mg palonosetron plus 20 mg dexamethasone before MD-CT. The MD-CT regimen was either epirubicin plus ifosfamide or paclitaxel plus cisplatin and ifosfamide. Nausea, vomiting, and FI were monitored in a 7-day diary. Complete response (CR: no vomiting and no rescue therapy) was the primary endpoint, while complete control (CC: CR and no more than mild nausea) and the evaluation of FI were secondary endpoints. The endpoints were evaluated during the overall timescale (0–168 h) of the chemotherapy regimen.
Fifty patients were enrolled, 80% of whom achieved CR and 78% achieved CC. During the six chemotherapy cycles, CR and CC ranged from 76% to 88% and from 62% to 88%, respectively. Moreover, patients with CR had a significantly (p < 0.0001) higher weekly food intake compared with patients not achieving CR.
This trial was the first to assess the efficacy of palonosetron and dexamethasone for the prevention of both nausea and vomiting in patients receiving multiple cycles of MD-CT. In this trial, the ability of patients to intake an adequate amount of food each week was correlated with nausea, thus providing clinicians with an objective parameter for the measurement of the effects of nausea. A single dose of palonosetron and dexamethasone was able to prevent CINV in most patients receiving 3 days of chemotherapy during all planned chemotherapy cycles.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV); Food intake; Multiple day chemotherapy; Multiple cycles; Palonosetron
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is associated with a significant deterioration in quality of life. The emetogenicity of the chemotherapeutic agents, repeated chemotherapy cycles, and patient characteristics (female gender, younger age, low alcohol consumption, history of motion sickness) are the major risk factors for CINV. This review provides a detailed description of palonosetron, a second-generation 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist. The chemistry and pharmacology of palonosetron are described, as well as the initial and recent clinical trials. Palonosetron has a longer half-life and a higher binding affinity than the first-generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Palonosetron has been approved for the prevention of acute CINV in patients receiving either moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy and for the prevention of delayed CINV in patients receiving moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. In recent studies, compared to the first-generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, palonosetron in combination with dexamethasone demonstrated better control of delayed CINV in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. There were no clinically relevant adverse reactions reported in the palonosetron clinical trials which were different from the common reactions reported for the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist class. Due to its efficacy in controlling both acute and delayed CINV, palonosetron may be very effective in the clinical setting of multiple-day chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation.
anti-emetics; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; serotonin receptor antagonists; palonosetron
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) have a negative impact on patients' quality of life and frequently pointed to as a major factor for treatment abandonment. Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist is considered as key treatment for CINV. Ramosetron and palonosetron are recently developed 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and known as more superior than other first-generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of ramosetron and palonosetron and determine which drug is more effective for prevention of CINV.
Colorectal cancer patients treated with chemotherapy were enrolled consecutively. Patients were assigned to receive intravenous injection of ramosetron 0.3 mg or palonosetron 0.25 mg at 30 minutes before initiation of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. Ramosetron group added oral administration of 0.1 mg ramosetron on the second and third days of chemotherapy. Efficacy parameter consisted of nausea and vomiting.
Ninety-one patients received ramosetron and 89 patients received palonosetron. Presentation of vomiting and nausea symptoms was not significantly different between the two groups during acute (0-24 hours) and delayed period (after 24 hours).
The incidence of CINV between the ramosetron and the palonosetron group has not shown any difference during acute, delayed, and overall period.
Vomiting; Ramosetron; Palonosetron; Adjuvant chemotherapy; Colorectal neoplasms
A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to compare treatment effectiveness and adverse effects in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with palonosetron to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The use of palonosetron should be considered an integral part of adjuvant therapy for prevention of the acute, delayed, and overall phases of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare treatment effectiveness and adverse effects in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with palonosetron to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).
We identified randomized controlled clinical trials (RCT) comparing palonosetron with first-generation 5-HT3RA in the prevention of CINV in cancer patients. Meta-analyses were performed on homogeneous studies. Fixed or random-effects models were used to combine data.
Eight eligible trials were identified, reporting outcomes on 3,592 patients. Meta-analyses showed statistically significant differences in favor of palonosetron compared with first-generation 5-HT3RA in prevention of acute CINV (p = .0003), delayed CINV (p < .00001), and overall phase of CINV (p < .00001). Subgroup analyses showed statistically significant differences in favor of both 0.25 mg and 0.75 mg of palonosetron in prevention of all phases of CINV. There were no statistically significant differences between 0.25 and 0.75 mg of palonosetron. Compared with the first-generation 5-HT3RA, 0.75 mg of palonosetron showed a statistically significant difference in the occurrence of constipation (p = .04).
The use of palonosetron should be considered an integral part of adjuvant therapy for prevention of the acute, delayed, and overall phases of CINV. The 0.25 mg intravenous palonosetron dose is as effective as the 0.75 mg intravenous palonosetron dose. However, 0.75 mg intravenous palonosetron causes constipation more frequently than the first-generation 5-HT3RA.
Individual studies have assessed the impact of standard prophylactic therapy with 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor antagonists (5-HT3RAs) for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) on cost and utilization, but no synthesis of the findings exists.
To systematically review published literature on costs and utilization associated with CINV prophylaxis with palonosetron and other 5-HT3RAs.
PubMed and the National Institute for Health Research Centre for Reviews and Dissemination databases, conferences of 4 organizations (ie, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, American Society of Clinical Oncology, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, and Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer), and the bibliographies of relevant articles were queried for the medical subject headings and key terms of “ondansetron,” “granisetron,” “palonosetron,” “dolasetron mesylate,” “costs,” “cost analysis,” and “economics.” We included records published (full-length articles after 1997 and conference presentations after 2010) in English and with human patients, reporting data on cost and utilization (rescue medication, outpatient and inpatient services) associated with the use of 5-HT3RAs for the treatment or prevention of CINV.
Of the 434 identified studies, 32 are included in the current analysis: 7 studies report costs, 18 report utilization, and 7 studies report both. The costs are reported in US dollars (7 studies), in Euros (5 studies), and in Canadian dollars (2 studies). The studies vary in designs, patients, 5-HT3RA regimens, and the definition of outcomes. The US studies report higher drug costs for CINV prophylaxis with palonosetron compared with ondansetron, lower medical outpatient and inpatient costs for palonosetron versus other 5-HT3RAs, and higher acquisition costs for palonosetron versus ondansetron or other 5-HT3RAs. Fewer patients receiving palonosetron versus with ondansetron or other 5-HT3RAs required rescue medication or used outpatient or inpatient care. In Europe and in Canada, the total pharmacy costs and use of rescue medications reported are lower for patients receiving prophylaxis with palonosetron.
This analysis shows that prophylaxis with palonosetron for the treatment of CINV is associated with higher acquisition treatment costs, but also with lower use of rescue medications and outpatient and inpatient services compared with ondansetron or other 5-HT3RAs in the United States. Therefore, the use of palonosetron as a standard treatment may lead to reduced service utilization for CINV.
Prevention of nausea and vomiting is the main goal of antiemetic treatment in cancer patients scheduled to receive chemotherapy. To prevent acute emesis, antiemetics should be administered just before chemotherapy and patients should be protected for up to 24 hours after chemotherapy initiation. The emetogenic potential of chemotherapeutic agents guides clinicians towards the most appropriate antiemetic prophylaxis. Current guidelines recommend the use of 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (RA) either alone or in combination with dexamethasone and/or a neurokinin-1 RA both in the acute and delayed phases. The second-generation 5-HT3RA palonosetron exhibits a longer half-life and a higher binding affinity than older antagonists. Palonosetron has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients scheduled to receive either moderately (MEC) or highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) and for the prevention of delayed CINV in patients receiving MEC. The present review will discuss the role of palonosetron in the prevention of acute CINV.
antiemetics; chemotherapy; nausea; vomiting; serotonin-receptor antagonists; palonosetron
With repeated courses of chemotherapy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) becomes progressively more difficult to control. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the antiemetic efficacy of the triple combination aprepitant, palonosetron and dexamethasone could be sustained for up to six cycles of highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) (cisplatin ≥ 50 mg/m2).
Chemotherapy-naive patients receiving cisplatin-based HEC, were treated with palonosetron 0.25 mg/i.v., dexamethasone 20 mg/i.v. and aprepitant 125 mg/p.o. 1 h before chemotherapy. Aprepitant 80 mg/p.o. and dexamethasone 4 mg/p.o. were administered on days 2–3. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR, no vomiting and no use of rescue medication), over 5 days following HEC in up to six cycles. Secondary endpoints were emesis-free and nausea-free rates. Safety was also evaluated.
One hundred and fifty six lung cancer patients were included in the study; the median age was 64 years and 76.9% were men. The minimum cisplatin dosage was 75 mg/m2, and in most patients was combined with another drug (87.4%). CR ranged from 74.4% (first cycle) to 82% (sixth cycle). More than 90% and 60% of patients were emesis-free and nausea-free during all chemotherapy cycles. The most commonly reported side effects were constipation and headache.
The triple combination of aprepitant, palonosetron and dexamethasone enhanced not only the antiemetic protection during the first cycle, but its efficacy was also sustained for up to six cycles of cisplatin-based HEC in lung cancer patients.
Control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a crucial factor in ensuring that patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy can get the full benefit of therapy. Current antiemetic guidelines recommend that the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) antagonist aprepitant should be used as part of a combination regimen with dexamethasone and a serotonin receptor antagonist for the prevention of CINV in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC). Fosaprepitant is a water-soluble N-phosphoryl derivative of aprepitant that, when infused, is rapidly metabolized back to an active aprepitant. The existing literature in PubMed about fosaprepitant was screened and selected in order to address the emerging data from two randomized clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of a single-dose fosaprepitant regimen. These phase III trials demonstrated that fosaprepitant given as a single intravenous dose of 150 mg was either noninferior to the conventional 3-day aprepitant or significantly superior to placebo for the prevention of acute and delayed CINV in patients receiving high-dose cisplatin. In both trials, fosaprepitant was well tolerated although more frequent infusion-site adverse events were observed with fosaprepitant. The new dosage regimen of fosaprepitant, therefore, would be an option for CINV control in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The clinical efficacy is consistent with the findings from a time-on-target, positron-emission tomography study evaluating the NK-1R occupancy in the central nervous system (CNS) over 5 days after a single-dose infusion of 150 mg fosaprepitant in healthy participants. The single-dose regimen is capable of blocking more than 90% of the NK-1Rs in the CNS for at least 48 hours after infusion, which is sufficient to control delayed CINV for 2 to 5 days after HEC. The new dosage regimen of fosaprepitant can provide a simplified treatment option that maintains high protection while ensuring adherence to scheduled antiemetic medication throughout most of the 5-day period encompassing the major risk for CINV.
fosaprepitant; neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
Prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a key component of treatment for patients with cancer. Guidelines are available to assist prescribers in the management of CINV associated with single-day chemotherapy regimens. However, currently there are no clear guidelines for management of CINV in patients receiving multiple-day chemotherapy regimens. Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists are a mainstay in preventing CINV, and palonosetron, given its longer half-life and duration of action relative to other 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, may be a useful option for managing CINV in multiple-day chemotherapy. Here we provide an overview of CINV and CINV treatment options, with a focus on palonosetron. We describe existing challenges in managing CINV, and discuss two patients receiving multiple-day chemotherapy, in whom CINV was managed successfully with palonosetron.
chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; palonosetron; multiple-day chemotherapy; 5-HT3 receptor antagonist
Nausea and vomiting in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can be from various causes, including the use of high-dose cytarabine.
The authors compared 2 schedules of palonosetron versus ondansetron in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients with AML receiving high-dose cytarabine. Patients were randomized to: 1) ondansetron, 8 mg intravenously (IV), followed by 24 mg continuous infusion 30 minutes before high-dose cytarabine and until 12 hours after the high-dose cytarabine infusion ended; 2) palonosetron, 0.25 mg IV 30 minutes before chemotherapy, daily from Day 1 of high-dose cytarabine up to Day 5; or 3) palonosetron, 0.25 mg IV 30 minutes before high-dose cytarabine on Days 1, 3, and 5.
Forty-seven patients on ondansetron and 48 patients on each of the palonosetron arms were evaluable for efficacy. Patients in the palonosetron arms achieved higher complete response rates (no emetic episodes plus no rescue medication), but the difference was not statistically significant (ondansetron, 21%; palonosetron on Days 1–5, 31%; palonosetron on Days 1, 3, and 5, 35%; P = .32). Greater than 77% of patients in each arm were free of nausea on Day 1; however, on Days 2 through 5, the proportion of patients without nausea declined similarly in all 3 groups. On Days 6 and 7, significantly more patients receiving palonosetron on Days 1 to 5 were free of nausea (P = .001 and P = .0247, respectively).
The daily assessments of emesis did not show significant differences between the study arms. Patients receiving palonosetron on Days 1 to 5 had significantly less severe nausea and experienced significantly less impact of CINV on daily activities on Days 6 and 7.
nausea and vomiting; palonosetron; cytosine arabinoside; ondansetron
Despite the use of standardized anti-emetic guidelines, up to 20% of cancer patients suffer from moderate-to-severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (cinv)—that is, grade 2 or greater according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. We previously developed cycle-based prediction models and associated scoring systems for acute and delayed cinv. As part of the validation process, we prospectively evaluated the ability of the scoring systems to accurately identify patients deemed to be high risk for grade 2 or greater cinv.
Patients who were receiving any chemotherapy for solid tumours and who consented to participate were provided with symptom diaries. Compliance to the diaries was enhanced by 24-hour and 5-day telephone callbacks after chemotherapy in every cycle. All patients received anti-emetic prophylaxis as prescribed by the treating physician. Before each cycle of chemotherapy, the acute and delayed cinv scoring systems were used to stratify patients into low- and high-risk groups. Logistic regression modelling was then applied to compare the risk for grade 2 or greater cinv between patients considered to be at high and at low risk. The external validity of each system was also assessed using an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (auroc) analysis.
We collected cinv outcomes data from 95 patients during 181 cycles of chemotherapy. The incidence of grade 2 or greater acute and delayed cinv was 17.7% and 18.2% respectively. As previously identified, major predictors for grade 2 or greater cinv included younger patient age, platinum- or anthracycline-based chemotherapy, low alcohol consumption, earlier cycles of chemotherapy, previous history of morning sickness, and prior emetic episodes after chemotherapy. The acute and delayed scoring systems both had good predictive accuracy when applied to the external validation sample (acute—auroc: 0.69; 95% confidence interval: 0.59 to 0.79; delayed—auroc: 0.70; 95% confidence interval: 0.60 to 0.80). Patients identified by the scoring systems to be at high risk were 2.8 (p = 0.025) and 3.1 (p = 0.001) times more likely to develop grade 2 or greater acute and delayed cinv.
The present study demonstrates that our scoring systems are able to accurately identify patients at high risk for acute and delayed cinv. Application and planned continued refinement of the scoring systems will be an important means of patient-specific risk assessment that will allow for optimization of anti-emetic therapy.
Chemotherapy; nausea and vomiting; aprepitant
This study was designed to determine the appropriate clinical dose of netupitant (NETU), a new NK1 receptor antagonist (RA), to combine with the 5-HT3 RA, palonosetron (PALO) in a fixed-dose antiemetic combination (NEPA). All NEPA doses provided superior prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting compared with PALO, with NEPA300 (300mg NETU + 0.50 mg PALO) being the best dose studied.
NEPA is a novel oral fixed-dose combination of netupitant (NETU), a new highly selective neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist (RA) and palonosetron (PALO), a pharmacologically and clinically distinct 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) RA. This study was designed to determine the appropriate clinical dose of NETU to combine with PALO for evaluation in the phase 3 NEPA program.
Patients and methods
This randomized, double-blind, parallel group study in 694 chemotherapy naïve patients undergoing cisplatin-based chemotherapy for solid tumors compared three different oral doses of NETU (100, 200, and 300 mg) + PALO 0.50 mg with oral PALO 0.50 mg, all given on day 1. A standard 3-day aprepitant (APR) + IV ondansetron (OND) 32 mg regimen was included as an exploratory arm. All patients received oral dexamethasone on days 1–4. The primary efficacy endpoint was complete response (CR: no emesis, no rescue medication) during the overall (0–120 h) phase.
All NEPA doses showed superior overall CR rates compared with PALO (87.4%, 87.6%, and 89.6% for NEPA100, NEPA200, and NEPA300, respectively versus 76.5% PALO; P < 0.050) with the highest NEPA300 dose studied showing an incremental benefit over lower NEPA doses for all efficacy endpoints. NEPA300 was significantly more effective than PALO and numerically better than APR + OND for all secondary efficacy endpoints of no emesis, no significant nausea, and complete protection (CR plus no significant nausea) rates during the acute (0–24 h), delayed (25–120 h), and overall phases. Adverse events were comparable across groups with no dose response. The percent of patients developing electrocardiogram changes was also comparable.
Each NEPA dose provided superior prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) compared with PALO following highly emetogenic chemotherapy; however, NEPA300 was the best dose studied, with an advantage over lower doses for all efficacy endpoints. The combination of NETU and PALO was well tolerated with a similar safety profile to PALO and APR + OND.
neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist; NEPA; netupitant; palonosetron; CINV; highly emetogenic
In order to ensure the continuity of chemotherapy, it is crucial to provide appropriate supportive care to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The frequency of CINV is greatly affected by the type and combination of chemotherapy employed, which requires further investigation. With the use of patient diaries, a prospective study on the efficacy of antiemetic regimens for nausea and vomiting was conducted in 103 patients receiving highly or moderately emetogenic chemotherapy in the Ambulatory Therapy Center of our institution between August, 2010 and March, 2011. In this study, the efficacy of palonosetron in the delayed phase was affirmed. On days 4 and 5, in particular, palonosetron exhibited a significantly higher efficacy compared to that of other conventional serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists (5-HT3RAs). When the effects of chemotherapy on food intake were assessed by switching granisetron to palonosetron, an improvement in appetite was observed in one-quarter of the cases in the delayed phase. In addition, palonosetron has not been associated with any severe adverse drug reactions. It was therefore suggested that the use of palonosetron be recommended as a 5-HT3RA. In conclusion, our data suggested that palonosetron is effective and may be used as a 5-HT3RA, since it is crucial that we take adequate measures against CINV in order to maintain the patients’ quality of life and to develop antiemetic regimens that ensure the continuity of chemotherapy without dose reduction.
chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; appetite; palonosetron; total control; serotonin receptor antagonists; selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) are major adverse effects of cancer chemotherapy. This study investigated: (1) the impact of CINV on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQL) in daily clinical practice; (2) the association between patient characteristics and type of antiemetics and CINV; and (3) the role of CINV in physicians' decisions to modify antiemetic treatment.
Patients and methods
This prospective, multicenter study was conducted in nine general hospitals in the Netherlands. During three consecutive chemotherapy cycles, patients used a diary to record episodes of nausea, vomiting and antiemetic use. For each cycle, these ratings were made 1 day prior to and 7 days after having received chemotherapy. The influence of CINV on patients' HRQL was evaluated with the Functional Living Index-Emesis (FLIE) questionnaire at day 6 of each treatment cycle. (Changes in) antiemetic use were recorded by the treating nurse. Patient inclusion took place between May 2005 and May 2007.
Two hundred seventy-seven patients were enrolled in the study. Acute and delayed nausea during the first treatment cycle was reported by 39% and 68% of the patients, respectively. The comparable figures for acute and delayed vomiting were 12% and 23%. During the first and subsequent treatment cycle, approximately one-third of the patients indicated that CINV had a substantial impact on their daily lives. Female patients and younger patients reported significantly more CINV than male and older patients. At all treatment cycles, patients receiving treatment with moderately emetogenic chemotherapy, containing anthracycline, reported more acute nausea than patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Acute vomiting was associated significantly with change in (i.e., additional) antiemetic treatment. Delayed CINV did not influence antiemetic treatment.
CINV continues to be a problem that adversely affects the daily lives of patients. CINV is worse in women and in younger patients. In daily clinical practice, acute CINV, but not delayed CINV, results in changes in antiemetic treatment. In view of the effects of not only acute, but also delayed CINV on daily life, more attention should be paid to adjustment of antiemetic treatment to cover CINV complaints, later during the chemotherapy cycle.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; Antiemetics; Symptom management
Many risk factors exist for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). This study utilized a multivariate projection technique to identify which risk factors were predictive of CINV in clinical practice. A single-centre, prospective, observational study was conducted from January 2007~July 2010 in Singapore. Patients were on highly (HECs) and moderately emetogenic chemotherapies with/without radiotherapy. Patient demographics and CINV risk factors were documented. Daily recording of CINV events was done using a standardized diary. Principal component (PC) analysis was performed to identify which risk factors could differentiate patients with and without CINV. A total of 710 patients were recruited. Majority were females (67%) and Chinese (84%). Five risk factors were potential CINV predictors: histories of alcohol drinking, chemotherapy-induced nausea, chemotherapy-induced vomiting, fatigue and gender. Period (ex-/current drinkers) and frequency of drinking (social/chronic drinkers) differentiated the CINV endpoints in patients on HECs and anthracycline-based, and XELOX regimens, respectively. Fatigue interference and severity were predictive of CINV in anthracycline-based populations, while the former was predictive in HEC and XELOX populations. PC analysis is a potential technique in analyzing clinical population data, and can provide clinicians with an insight as to what predictors to look out for in the clinical assessment of CINV. We hope that our results will increase the awareness among clinician-scientists regarding the usefulness of this technique in the analysis of clinical data, so that appropriate preventive measures can be taken to improve patients' quality of life.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; Multivariate projection; Principal component analysis; Principal variables; Risk factors
Palonosetron (Aloxi®, Onicit®, Paloxi®) is a second-generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (RA) with an extended half-life of ~40 hours and high binding affinity for the 5-HT3 receptor that is markedly different from other 5-HT3 RAs. Phase III trials demonstrate that a single dose of palonosetron compared with traditional 5-HT3 RAs is more effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) during the first 24 hours following chemotherapy (acute CINV), and also exhibits prolonged efficacy to provide significantly better protection from CINV in the delayed and overall phases. This superior and extended protection from CINV conferred by palonosetron following a single intravenous dose before chemotherapy simplifies dosing schedules. Recent research has focused on optimization of palonosetron-based antiemetic regimens, particularly in combination with steroids and neurokinin-1 RAs. The available clinical data indicate high control rates for palonosetron, suggesting a synergistic potential for protection in patients scheduled to receive emetogenic drug regimens.
palonosetron; CINV; 5-HT3 receptor antagonists; moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC); highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC)
Goals of work
Ginger has been used to treat numerous types of nausea and vomiting. Ginger has also been studied for its efficacy for acute chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). However, its efficacy for delayed CINV in a diverse oncology population is unknown.
Materials and methods
We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 162 patients with cancer who were receiving chemotherapy and had experienced CINV during at least one previous round of chemotherapy. All participants were receiving a 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and/or aprepitant. Participants were randomized to receive either 1.0 g ginger, 2.0 g ginger daily, or matching placebo for 3 days. The primary outcome was change in the prevalence of delayed CINV. Secondary outcomes included acute prevalence of CINV, acute and delayed severity of CINV, and assessment of blinding.
There were no differences between groups in the prevalence of delayed nausea or vomiting, prevalence of acute CINV, or severity of delayed vomiting or acute nausea and vomiting. Participants who took both ginger and aprepitant had more severe acute nausea than participants who took only aprepitant. Participants were able to accurately guess which treatment they had received. Ginger appeared well tolerated, with no difference in all adverse events (AEs) and significantly less fatigue and miscellaneous AEs in the ginger group.
Ginger provides no additional benefit for reduction of the prevalence or severity of acute or delayed CINV when given with 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and/or aprepitant.
Ginger; Apripetant; Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) represents a significant burden on patients and healthcare systems. Despite the introduction of serotonin antagonists, many patients still experience CINV, particularly delayed symptoms occurring more than 24 hours after chemotherapy. Aprepitant is a selective neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist approved for use with other antiemetics to prevent CINV caused by moderately to highly emetogenic chemotherapy.
To review the evidence underlying the use of aprepitant to prevent CINV.
In patients receiving moderately and highly emetogenic chemotherapy, adding aprepitant to standard antiemetic therapy with dexamethasone and a serotonin antagonist significantly improved control of CINV. The degree of control of delayed CINV was particularly pronounced, and effectiveness was more likely to be maintained in multiple cycles compared with standard therapy. Nausea was generally less frequent among patients taking aprepitant. More patients receiving aprepitant were satisfied with their treatment and reported minimal/no impact of CINV on daily activities. Aprepitant appears to be well tolerated, with fatigue being the most commonly reported adverse event. The drug is an inhibitor and inducer of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4, resulting in contraindications and caution with some concomitant medication. Limited economic evidence suggests that a proportion of the acquisition cost of aprepitant may be offset by savings in overall direct costs of managing CINV.
Place in therapy:
The evidence supports the recommended use of aprepitant in clinical guidelines for the prevention of CINV due to highly emetogenic chemotherapy, and its recently approved role in regimens with moderate risk. It is particularly useful for delayed symptoms.
aprepitant; chemotherapy; evidence; nausea; vomiting
NEPA is an oral single, fixed-dose combination of netupitant, a new highly selective NK1 RA and palonosetron (PALO), a pharmacologically/clinically distinct 5-HT3 RA. It delivers antiemetic guideline-recommended prophylaxis by targeting two critical molecular pathways associated with chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting. This Phase III study demonstrated the superiority of NEPA compared with PALO.
Antiemetic guidelines recommend co-administration of agents that target multiple molecular pathways involved in emesis to maximize prevention and control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). NEPA is a new oral fixed-dose combination of 300 mg netupitant, a highly selective NK1 receptor antagonist (RA) and 0.50 mg palonosetron (PALO), a pharmacologically and clinically distinct 5-HT3 RA, which targets dual antiemetic pathways.
Patients and methods
This multinational, randomized, double-blind, parallel group phase III study (NCT01339260) in 1455 chemotherapy-naïve patients receiving moderately emetogenic (anthracycline–cyclophosphamide) chemotherapy evaluated the efficacy and safety of a single oral dose of NEPA versus a single oral dose (0.50 mg) of PALO. All patients also received oral dexamethasone (DEX) on day 1 only (12 mg in the NEPA arm and 20 mg in the PALO arm). The primary efficacy end point was complete response (CR: no emesis, no rescue medication) during the delayed (25–120 h) phase in cycle 1.
The percentage of patients with CR during the delayed phase was significantly higher in the NEPA group compared with the PALO group (76.9% versus 69.5%; P = 0.001), as were the percentages in the overall (0–120 h) (74.3% versus 66.6%; P = 0.001) and acute (0–24 h) (88.4% versus 85.0%; P = 0.047) phases. NEPA was also superior to PALO during the delayed and overall phases for all secondary efficacy end points of no emesis, no significant nausea and complete protection (CR plus no significant nausea). NEPA was well tolerated with a similar safety profile as PALO.
NEPA plus a single dose of DEX was superior to PALO plus DEX in preventing CINV following moderately emetogenic chemotherapy in acute, delayed and overall phases of observation. As a fixed-dose antiemetic drug combination, NEPA along with a single dose of DEX on day 1 offers guideline-based prophylaxis with a convenient, single-day treatment.
neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist; NEPA; netupitant; palonosetron; CINV; moderately emetogenic