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Cancer Manag Res. 2012;4:171-6. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S31349. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Use of transdermal and intravenous granisetron and the ability of the Hesketh score to assess nausea and vomiting induced by multiday chemotherapy.

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Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Hesketh scores define emetogenicity of single-agent and multiagent single-day chemotherapy. This analysis determined the emetogenicity of multiagent, multiday chemotherapy and the Granisetron Transdermal System (GTDS; Sancuso(®)).


This was a retrospective analysis of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, phase III noninferiority trial of GTDS versus oral granisetron in patients receiving 3 days of multiagent moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy, regardless of granisetron formulation. Emesis was defined as vomiting/retching or the use of rescue medication. Logistic regression and classification trees were used to determine the optimal combination of Hesketh scores over the multiagent, multiday regimens for the prediction of emesis.


Of 393 patients, 272 (69.2%) were chemotherapy naïve. The most common types of cancer were lung (30.5%) and gynecologic (21.9%). The most common chemotherapeutic regimen (in 14.2% of patients) was cisplatin plus etoposide on days 1-3. The best binary emesis predictor was day 1 Hesketh score. Patients with a day 1 Hesketh score of 5 had the highest rate of emesis (62.5%) versus patients with a score < 5 (31.7%). For patients with day 1 Hesketh score < 5, only 14.3% of those receiving only one drug on day 1 experienced emesis.


Hesketh emetogenicity scores of individual agents are applicable to multiday, multiagent chemotherapeutic regimens in patients receiving antiemetics.


chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; clinical trial; emetogenicity; granisetron; retrospective analysis

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