Olanzapine versus aprepitant for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a randomized phase III trial

Rudolph M Navari, Sarah E Gray, Andrew C Kerr
Journal of Supportive Oncology 2011, 9 (5): 188-95

BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of olanzapine (OLN) and aprepitant (APR) for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

METHODS: A phase III trial was performed in chemotherapy-naive patients receiving cisplatin ≥ 70 mg/m(2) or cyclophosphamide ≥ 500 mg/m(2) and doxorubicin ≥ 50 mg/m(2), comparing OLN to APR in combination with palonosetron (PAL) and dexamethasone (DEX). The OLN, PAL, DEX (OPD) regimen was 10 mg of oral OLN, 0.25 mg of IV PAL, and 20 mg of IV DEX prechemotherapy, day 1, and 10 mg/day of oral OLN alone on days 2-4 postchemotherapy. The APR, PAL, DEX (APD) regimen was 125 mg of oral APR, 0.25 mg of IV PAL, and 12 mg of IV DEX, day 1, and 80 mg of oral APR, days 2 and 3, and 4 mg of DEX BID, days 2-4. Two hundred fifty-one patients consented to the protocol and were randomized. Two hundred forty-one patients were evaluable.

RESULTS: Complete response (CR) (no emesis, no rescue) was 97% for the acute period (24 hours postchemotherapy), 77% for the delayed period (days 2-5 postchemotherapy), and 77% for the overall period (0-120 hours) for 121 patients receiving the OPD regimen. CR was 87% for the acute period, 73% for the delayed period, and 73% for the overall period in 120 patients receiving the APD regimen. Patients without nausea (0, scale 0-10, MD Anderson Symptom Inventory) were OPD: 87% acute, 69% delayed, and 69% overall; APD: 87% acute, 38% delayed, and 38% overall. There were no grade 3 or 4 toxicities. CR and control of nausea in subsequent chemotherapy cycles were equal to or greater than cycle 1 for both regimens. OPD was comparable to APD in the control of CINV. Nausea was better controlled with OPD.

DISCUSSION: In this study, OLN combined with a single dose of DEX and a single dose of PAL was very effective at controlling acute and delayed CINV in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. CR rates were not significantly different from a similar group of patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy and an antiemetic regimen consisting of APR, PAL, and DEX.

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