Control of chemotherapy-induced emesis

N Engl J Med. 1993 Dec 9;329(24):1790-6. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199312093292408.


The development of antiemetic drugs has been one of the most rewarding areas of oncologic research, since therapeutic advances in this area can result in immediate improvement in the quality of life for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Antiemetic therapy has progressed dramatically during the past decade and a half. Fifteen years ago, patients receiving cisplatin for the first time had a median of 12 vomiting episodes within the first 24 hours, whereas now more than 50 percent of such patients have no vomiting episodes at all. Theoretical and clinical challenges remain, however, in the effort to control chemotherapy-induced emesis. The mechanisms of anticipatory vomiting and delayed vomiting are still not understood, and consistently effective therapeutic approaches to these problems have yet to be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Brain Stem / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / drug effects
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology
  • Vomiting / chemically induced*
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*
  • Vomiting / physiopathology


  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter