Antiemetics: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update

J Clin Oncol. 2017 Oct 1;35(28):3240-3261. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.74.4789. Epub 2017 Jul 31.


Purpose To update the ASCO guideline for antiemetics in oncology. Methods ASCO convened an Expert Panel and conducted a systematic review of the medical literature for the period of November 2009 to June 2016. Results Forty-one publications were included in this systematic review. A phase III randomized controlled trial demonstrated that adding olanzapine to antiemetic prophylaxis reduces the likelihood of nausea among adult patients who are treated with high emetic risk antineoplastic agents. Randomized controlled trials also support an expanded role for neurokinin 1 receptor antagonists in patients who are treated with chemotherapy. Recommendation Key updates include the addition of olanzapine to antiemetic regimens for adults who receive high-emetic-risk antineoplastic agents or who experience breakthrough nausea and vomiting; a recommendation to administer dexamethasone on day 1 only for adults who receive anthracycline and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy; and the addition of a neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist for adults who receive carboplatin area under the curve ≥ 4 mg/mL per minute or high-dose chemotherapy, and for pediatric patients who receive high-emetic-risk antineoplastic agents. For radiation-induced nausea and vomiting, adjustments were made to anatomic regions, risk levels, and antiemetic administration schedules. Rescue therapy alone is now recommended for low-emetic-risk radiation therapy. The Expert Panel reiterated the importance of using the most effective antiemetic regimens that are appropriate for antineoplastic agents or radiotherapy being administered. Such regimens should be used with initial treatment, rather than first assessing the patient's emetic response with less-effective treatment. Additional information is available at and .

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiemetics / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Medical Oncology / standards*
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Nausea / therapy*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Vomiting / drug therapy
  • Vomiting / prevention & control
  • Vomiting / therapy*


  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents