State of the Art Antiemetic Therapy for Cancer Patients

Curr Oncol Rep. 2016 Jan;18(1):2. doi: 10.1007/s11912-015-0486-5.


Nausea and vomiting are common in cancer patients. The most common cause of nausea and vomiting is the administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy. Apart from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), biological agents may also cause these symptoms. In this review, discussion will be focused on management of nausea and vomiting due to antineoplastic therapies. The cornerstone of effective management of nausea and vomiting secondary to these antineoplastic drugs is the prevention with the use of appropriate guideline-directed combination antiemetic regimen. Type 3 serotonin receptor antagonists (5HT3RAs), neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists (NK1RAs), and dexamethasone are the backbone antiemetic drugs. In recent years, newer drugs and preparations have been introduced for clinical use and include second-generation 5HT3RA, palonosetron; granisetron transdermal patch; the recently introduced NK1RA rolapitant; and the novel oral combined drug NEPA (netupitant plus palonosetron); and last but not least, the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine.

Keywords: Antiemetics; Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; Emetogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Nausea / chemically induced*
  • Nausea / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neurokinin-1 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*


  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Neurokinin-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists
  • Dexamethasone