Pilot study on the efficacy of an ondansetron- versus palonosetron-containing antiemetic regimen prior to highly emetogenic chemotherapy

Candice M Wenzell, Michael J Berger, Marlo A Blazer, Brooke S Crawford, Niesha L Griffith, Robert Wesolowski, Maryam B Lustberg, Gary S Phillips, Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, Ewa Mrozek, Joseph M Flynn, Charles L Shapiro, Rachel M Layman
Supportive Care in Cancer 2013, 21 (10): 2845-51

PURPOSE: Nausea and vomiting are among the most feared complications of chemotherapy reported by patients. The objective of this study was to establish the overall complete response (CR; no emesis or use of rescue medication 0-120 h after chemotherapy) with either ondansetron- or palonosetron-containing antiemetic regimens in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC).

METHODS: This was a prospective, open-label, randomized, single-center, pilot study that enrolled patients receiving their first cycle of HEC. Patients were randomized to receive either palonosetron 0.25 mg IV (PAD) or ondansetron 24 mg orally (OAD) on day 1 prior to HEC. All patients received oral aprepitant 125 mg on day 1, then 80 mg on days 2 and 3, and oral dexamethasone 12 mg on day 1, then 8 mg on days 2, 3, and 4. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.

RESULTS: A total of 40 patients were enrolled, 20 in each arm. All patients were female, and 39 received doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide chemotherapy for breast cancer. For the primary endpoint, 65 % (95 % CI, 40.8-84.6 %) of patients in the PAD arm and 40 % (95 % CI, 19.1-63.9 %) of patients in the OAD arm achieved an overall CR.

CONCLUSIONS: While CR rates for aprepitant and dexamethasone plus palonosetron or ondansetron-containing regimens have been published previously, this is the first documentation of CR rates with these regimens in the same patient population. These results may be used to design a larger, adequately powered, prospective study comparing these regimens.

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