, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 823-832
Date: 22 May 2010

Efficacy of palonosetron (PAL) compared to other serotonin inhibitors (5-HT3R) in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients receiving moderately or highly emetogenic (MoHE) treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis

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The objective of this work is to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of all randomized controlled trials comparing a single intravenous dose of palonosetron (PAL) 0.25 mg with other 5-HT3R in patients receiving moderately or highly emetogenic (MoHE) chemotherapy.


Several databases were searched, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, and CENTRAL. The primary endpoints were the incidence of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting. The side effects of each treatment were analyzed. A subgroup analysis was performed to evaluate the influence of the use of corticosteroids. The results are expressed as risk ratio (RR) and the correspondent 95% confidence interval (CI).


Five studies were included, with 2,057 patients. PAL was compared with ondansetron, granisetron, and dolasetron. Patients in PAL group had less nausea, both acute (RR = 0.86; CI95% = 0.76 to 0.96; p = 0.007) and delayed (RR = 0.82; CI95% = 0.75 to 0.89; p < 0.00001). They also had less acute vomiting (RR = 0.76; CI95% = 0.66 to 0.88; p = 0.0002) and delayed vomiting (RR = 0.76; CI95% = 0.68 to 0.85; p < 0.00001). There were no statistical differences in side effects like headache (RR = 0.84; CI95% = 0.61 to 1.17; p = 0.30), dizziness (RR = 0.40; CI95% = 0.13 to 1.27; p = 0.12), constipation (RR = 1.29; CI95% = 0.77 to 2.17; p = 0.33) or diarrhea (RR = 0.67; CI95% = 0.24 to 1.85; p = 0.44). Patients receiving PAL presented less nausea and vomiting regardless of the use of corticoids. We found no statistical heterogeneity in the global analysis.


PAL was more effective than the other 5-HT3R in preventing acute and delayed CINV in patients receiving MoHE treatments, regardless of the use of concomitant corticosteroids.