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Support Care Cancer. 2013 Oct;21(10):2845-51. doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1865-9. Epub 2013 Jun 8.

Pilot study on the efficacy of an ondansetron- versus palonosetron-containing antiemetic regimen prior to highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

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Pharmacy Department, The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA,



Nausea and vomiting are among the most feared complications of chemotherapy reported by patients. The objective of this study was to establish the overall complete response (CR; no emesis or use of rescue medication 0-120 h after chemotherapy) with either ondansetron- or palonosetron-containing antiemetic regimens in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC).


This was a prospective, open-label, randomized, single-center, pilot study that enrolled patients receiving their first cycle of HEC. Patients were randomized to receive either palonosetron 0.25 mg IV (PAD) or ondansetron 24 mg orally (OAD) on day 1 prior to HEC. All patients received oral aprepitant 125 mg on day 1, then 80 mg on days 2 and 3, and oral dexamethasone 12 mg on day 1, then 8 mg on days 2, 3, and 4. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.


A total of 40 patients were enrolled, 20 in each arm. All patients were female, and 39 received doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide chemotherapy for breast cancer. For the primary endpoint, 65 % (95 % CI, 40.8-84.6 %) of patients in the PAD arm and 40 % (95 % CI, 19.1-63.9 %) of patients in the OAD arm achieved an overall CR.


While CR rates for aprepitant and dexamethasone plus palonosetron or ondansetron-containing regimens have been published previously, this is the first documentation of CR rates with these regimens in the same patient population. These results may be used to design a larger, adequately powered, prospective study comparing these regimens.

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