Addressing the value of novel therapies in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Lee Schwartzberg
Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research 2014, 14 (6): 825-34
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a troubling side effect of cancer treatment and is often poorly controlled. As a consequence, CINV is associated with substantially increased costs of care and significant interference with patients' lives. Inadequate control over CINV results from factors that include failure to provide guideline-adherent prophylactic medication and limitations in available therapies. Newer serotonin receptor antagonists, such as palonosetron, and addition of neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonists to treatment have significantly decreased both acute and delayed CINV. A fixed-dose combination of palonosetron and a new NK-1 receptor, netupitant, is significantly superior to palonosetron alone and has small, but consistent, numerical advantages over aprepitant plus palonosetron for prevention of CINV. The combination of a serotonin receptor antagonist plus an NK-1 receptor antagonist has been shown to be cost-effective for prevention of CINV and the availability of a fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron may enhance this benefit.

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