, Volume 139, Issue 10, pp 1701-1707
Date: 23 Aug 2013

The efficacy of nonestrogenic therapy to hot flashes in cancer patients under hormone manipulation therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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The incidence of hot flashes under hormone manipulation therapy is so high that this symptom caused by sex hormone blocking agents has been bothering patients and has a negative impact on their quality of life. Venlafaxine and gabapentin are most promising novel nonestrogenic agents to control the symptom. We seek to quatitatively summarize the efficacy of these novel agents.

Patients and methods

We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies on the efficacy of venlafaxine/gabapentin to hot flashes in cancer patient under hormone deprivation therapies. A search for Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ichushi, and Google Scholar yielded 733 citations, which were independently assessed by two authors. We estimated overall effect sizes and its 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the efficacy of these agents compared with the controls with standardized mean difference.


A total of 5 studies involving 588 cancer patients with hot flashes finally fulfilled the predefined inclusion criteria. Overall effect size of the efficacy of venlafaxine/gabapentin was −0.630 (95 % CI [−0.801, −0.459]).


Venlafaxine/gabapentin significantly improved hot flashes in cancer patients under hormone manipulation therapies.