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1.  Impact of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a retrospective cohort study 
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.
PMCID: PMC3437203  PMID: 22823909
2.  Comparative clinical effectiveness of various 5-HT3 RA antiemetic regimens on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting associated with hospital and emergency department visits in real world practice 
Supportive Care in Cancer  2011;20(5):941-949.
The aim of this study was to compare the risk of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) events for various 5-HT3 RAs in patients who received moderately (MEC) or highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) by evaluating hospital or emergency department (ED) admissions.
PharMetrics claims database was used to identify patients diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) who were initiated on cyclophosphamide-based adjuvant chemotherapy or with lung cancer (LC) initiated on carboplatin-based or cisplatin-based chemotherapy between 2005 and 2008. Patients were stratified in two groups: those initiated and maintained on palonosetron versus those treated with any other 5-HT3 RA regimens in the 6-month post first chemotherapy. Risk for CINV events, identified by ICD-9-CM for nausea, vomiting, and/or dehydration, were estimated using logistic regressions, controlling for age, gender, comorbidity, and total chemotherapy doses or days.
Of the 4,868 cyclophosphamide-treated BC, 5,414 carboplatin-treated LC, and 1,692 cisplatin-treated LC identified, there were 1,864 BC (38.5%), 1,806 carboplatin-treated LC (33.4%), and 390 cisplatin-treated LC (23.0%) in the palonosetron-only group. Palonosetron-only group had significantly lower probability of CINV events associated with ED/hospital admissions in all three cohorts (3.5% vs. 6.3% in BC, 9.5% vs. 13.8% in carboplatin-treated LC, and 16.4% vs. 22.6% in cisplatin-treated LC, all at p < 0.05). Logistic regressions found palonosetron-only group had significantly lower risk of CINV events (odds ratios = 0.550, 0.653, and 0.689 in BC, carboplatin-treated LC and cisplatin-treated LC, respectively, p < 0.05).
Patients with lung or breast cancer receiving MEC or HEC had significantly lower risk of CINV events associated with hospital/ED admissions if initiated and maintained on palonosetron relative to patients receiving 5-HT3 RA regimens.
PMCID: PMC3313025  PMID: 21533811
CINV; 5-HT3 RAs; Palonosetron; Comparative effectiveness

Results 1-2 (2)