A randomized open-label study of guideline-driven antiemetic therapy versus single agent antiemetic therapy in patients with advanced cancer and nausea not related to anticancer treatment

Janet Hardy, Helen Skerman, Paul Glare, Jennifer Philip, Peter Hudson, Geoffrey Mitchell, Peter Martin, Odette Spruyt, David Currow, Patsy Yates

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Nausea/vomiting (N/V) not related to anti-cancer treatment is common in patients with advanced cancer. The standard approach to management is to define a dominant cause, and treat with an antiemetic selected through pathophysiologic knowledge of emetic pathways. High rates of N/V control have been reported using both etiology-based guideline-driven antiemetic regimens and an empiric approach using single agents in uncontrolled studies. These different approaches had never been formally compared. Methods: This randomized, prospective, open label, dose-escalating study used readily available antiemetics in accordance with etiology-based guidelines or single agent therapy with haloperidol. Participants had a baseline average nausea score of ≥3/10. Response was defined as a ≥ 2/10 point reduction on a numerical rating scale of average nausea score with a final score < 3/10 at 72 h. Results: Nausea scores and distress from nausea improved over time in the majority of the 185 patients randomized. For those who completed each treatment day, a greater response rate was seen in the guideline arm than the single agent arm at 24 h (49% vs 32%; p = 0.02), but not at 48 or 72 h. Response rates at 72 h in the intention to treat analysis were 49 and 53% respectively, with no significant difference between arms (0.04; 95% CI: -0.11, 0.19; p = 0.59). Over 80% of all participants reported an improved global impression of change. There were few adverse events worse than baseline in either arm. Conclusion: An etiology-based, guideline-directed approach to antiemetic therapy may offer more rapid benefit, but is no better than single agent treatment with haloperidol at 72 h. Clinical trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical.

Original languageEnglish
Article number510
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Keywords

  • Antiemetic
  • Guidelines
  • Nausea
  • Palliative care
  • Vomiting

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