Ginger supplementation could be an effective adjuvant treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea (CIN). The aim of this clinical trial was to address significant methodological limitations in previous trials. Patients (N = 51) were randomly allocated to receive either 1.2 g of standardised ginger extract or placebo per day, in addition to standard anti-emetic therapy, during the first three cycles of chemotherapy. The primary outcome was CIN-related quality of life (QoL) measured with the Functional Living Index- Emesis (FLIE) questionnaire. Secondary outcomes included acute and delayed nausea, vomiting, and retching as well as cancer-related fatigue, nutritional status, and CIN and vomiting-specific prognostic factors. Over three consecutive chemotherapy cycles, nausea was more prevalent than vomiting (47% vs. 12%). In chemotherapy Cycle 1, intervention participants reported significantly better QoL related to CIN (p = 0.029), chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)-related QoL (p = 0.043), global QoL (p = 0.015) and less fatigue (p = 0.006) than placebo participants. There were no significant results in Cycle 2. In Cycle 3, global QoL (p = 0.040) and fatigue (p = 0.013) were significantly better in the intervention group compared to placebo. This trial suggests adjuvant ginger supplementation is associated with better chemotherapy-induced nausea-related quality of life and less cancer-related fatigue, with no difference in adverse effects compared to placebo.
Keywords: CINV; cancer; dietary supplements; emesis; ginger; nausea.