Background: A combination of aprepitant, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (r.a.), and dexamethasone is recommended for the prophylaxis of cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting in the acute phase, and aprepitant + dexamethasone (A + D) in the delayed phase. The aim of this study was to verify if A + D is superior to metoclopramide plus dexamethasone (M + D) in preventing delayed emesis in cancer patients receiving the same prophylaxis for acute emesis.
Patients and methods: A randomized double-blind study comparing A + D versus M + D was completed in previously untreated cancer patients. Before chemotherapy, all patients were treated with intravenous palonosetron 0.25 mg and dexamethasone 12 mg, and oral aprepitant 125 mg. On day 2-4, patients randomly received oral dexamethasone 8 mg plus aprepitant 80 mg once daily (days 2-3) or metoclopramide 20 mg four times daily plus dexamethasone 8 mg bid. Primary endpoint was rate of complete response (no vomiting, no rescue treatment) in day 2-5 after chemotherapy.
Results: Due to difficulty in the accrual of patients, 303 of the 480 planned patients were enrolled, 284 were fully evaluable, 147 receiving A + D, 137 M + D. Day 1 results were similar in both arms. On day 2-5, complete response rate was not significantly different (80.3% with A + D versus 82.5% with M + D, P < 0.38, respectively), and all secondary endpoints were also similar (complete protection, total control, no vomiting, no nausea, and score of Functional Living Index-Emesis; P < 0.24). Adverse events incidence was not significantly different between the two treatments.
Conclusions: In cancer patients submitted to cisplatin-based chemotherapy, receiving the same antiemetic prophylaxis for acute emesis, A + D is not superior to M + D in preventing delayed emesis, and both treatments present similar toxicity.
Clinicaltrialsgov number: NCT00869310.
Keywords: aprepitant; cisplatin; delayed emesis; metoclopramide.
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