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MULTICENTER STUDY

Evaluation of risk factors predicting chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting: results from a European prospective observational study

Alexander Molassiotis, Matti Aapro, Mario Dicato, Pere Gascon, Sylvia A Novoa, Nicolas Isambert, Thomas A Burke, Anna Gu, Fausto Roila
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2014, 47 (5): 839-848.e4
24075401

CONTEXT: Demographic, personal, clinical, and behavioral factors predicting chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) have been assessed in the past, but inconsistencies exist in the literature, studies have methodological shortcomings, and many risk factors have been examined in cross-sectional studies and univariate analyses.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the predictive power of personal and treatment-related characteristics in the development of CINV, using a large and prospectively evaluated sample of a heterogeneous group of cancer patients receiving routine chemotherapy.

METHODS: This was a multicountry, multisite prospective study over three cycles of chemotherapy. Adult patients from eight European countries about to receive highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy were recruited. Clinicians completed a case report form at or before the initial chemotherapy treatment, recording patient demographic and baseline clinical characteristics. Participants completed a daily patient diary for six days per chemotherapy cycle describing their CINV experience. Baseline patient data also included a history of nausea/vomiting (yes/no), patient expectation of nausea (0-100 mm visual analogue scale [VAS]), prechemotherapy anxiety (0-100 mm VAS), and prechemotherapy nausea (0-100 mm VAS) measured during the 24-hour period before chemotherapy initiation.

RESULTS: There were 991 evaluable patients with complete Cycle 1 data, 888 for Cycle 2 data, and 769 for Cycle 3 data. A complex picture of predictor variables was shown, with different contribution of variables to the acute, delayed, and overall phases of CINV. Key predictor variables included the use of antiemetics inconsistent with international guidelines, younger age, prechemotherapy nausea, and no CINV complete response in an earlier cycle (all at P < 0.05). Anxiety, history of nausea/vomiting, and expectations of nausea were important predictors for some phases and cycles but not consistently across the CINV pathway.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study provide clarity for the relative contribution of a set of characteristics in the development of CINV. Following evidence-based clinical antiemetic guidelines is of paramount importance, alongside treating patients with increased risk for CINV more aggressively, which both could lead to more optimal CINV management. These data can assist clinicians in making decisions about the antiemetic management of their patients.

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