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Chest. 2020 Jan 18. pii: S0012-3692(20)30032-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.11.048. [Epub ahead of print]

Aprepitant for Cough Suppression in Advanced Lung Cancer: A Randomized Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, India.
2
Department of Biostatistics, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Navi Mumbai, India.
3
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, India. Electronic address: kumarprabhashtmh@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although cough is a common and distressing symptom in patients with lung cancer, there is almost no evidence to guide treatment. Aprepitant, a centrally acting neurokinin-1 inhibitor, significantly decreased cough frequency in a pilot study.

METHODS:

Patients with advanced lung cancer and cough lasting over 2 weeks despite a cough suppressant were randomized 1:1 to aprepitant 125 mg orally on day 1 and then 80 mg orally on days 2 to 7 with physician's choice of antitussive; or to physician's choice of antitussive alone. Evaluation was at baseline and on days 3, 7, 9, and 12. The primary end point was subjective cough improvement on day 9, measured by the Visual Analog Scale and Manchester Cough in Lung Cancer Scale. Secondary end points included quality of life (QoL) as measured by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core Quality of Life Questionnaire and the EORTC Lung Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire and toxicity.

RESULTS:

Between 2017 and 2018, 128 patients were randomized. Median baseline cough duration was 90 days. Mean Visual Analog Scale scores (in mm) at baseline and day 9 were 68 and 39 in the aprepitant arm and 62 and 49 in the control arm, respectively (P < .001); mean Manchester Cough in Lung Cancer Scale scores at baseline and day 9 were 33 and 23 in the aprepitant arm and 30 and 25 in the control arm, respectively (P < .001). Overall QoL was not significantly different between the two arms; however, aprepitant led to a significant improvement in the cough-specific QoL domain (P = .017). Aprepitant did not increase severe adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS:

Aprepitant led to a significant improvement in cough in advanced lung cancer, without increasing severe side effects.

TRIAL REGISTRY:

Clinical Trials Registry-India; No.: CTRI/2017/05/008691; URL: http://ctri.nic.in.

KEYWORDS:

Manchester Cough in Lung Cancer Scale; antitussive; cough; neurokinin; non-small cell lung cancer; repurposing

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