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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2000 Mar-Apr;22(2):125-32.

Survey ranking of emetogenic control in children receiving chemotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque 87131, USA.



To determine the effect of standard antiemetic treatment in children receiving various combination chemotherapy regimens.


A validated nausea/vomiting survey was administered to 78 patients receiving 13 different emetogenic chemotherapy regimens. Patients received antiemetic prophylaxis with ondansetron (0.3 mg/kg/day) alone for moderately emetogenic chemotherapy regimens or ondansetron (0.45 mg/kg/day) and methylprednisolone (4 mg/kg/day) for severely emetogenic chemotherapy regimens. A total of 324 different courses of chemotherapy were surveyed. Nausea and vomiting severity, duration, number of emetic episodes, appetite, daily activity interference, and rates of both complete and good antiemetic protection were determined for each chemotherapy protocol. Differences between genders and ages were analyzed.


Chemotherapy combinations containing platinum compounds were found to be highly emetogenic and nauseating despite antiemetic therapy with ondansetron plus a corticosteroid. In addition, complete antiemetic protection for the combination of vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and dactinomycin was poor. For most of the severely emetogenic chemotherapy protocols, patients experienced good protection from nausea and vomiting less than 60% of the time, despite the use of ondansetron plus methylprednisolone. Significant differences were found in rates of residual nausea and vomiting and failure of antiemetic protection among the severely emetogenic chemotherapy protocols despite identical antiemetic therapy. Good protection rates were higher for moderately emetogenic chemotherapy treated with ondansetron alone.


The currently recommended prophylactic therapy for pediatric patients receiving severely emetogenic chemotherapy fails to provide protection for many patients receiving commonly administered chemotherapy regimens and for most pediatric patients receiving platinum-containing chemotherapy combinations. New and refined antiemetic strategies are needed to improve efficacy in the pediatric population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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