Antiemetic effects of granisetron and dexamethasone combination therapy during cisplatin-containing chemotherapy for head and neck cancer: dexamethasone dosage verification trial
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- Tsukuda, M., Ishitoya, J., Mikami, Y. et al. Int J Clin Oncol (2009) 14: 337. doi:10.1007/s10147-008-0874-z
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Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains a significant problem for patients and is associated with a substantial deterioration in quality of life; appropriate use of antiemetic drugs is crucial in maintaining the quality of life in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
This randomized, crossover trial evaluated the antiemetic efficacy and safety of 8 mg per day (low-dose) and 16 mg per day (standard-dose) dexamethasone, in combination with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist granisetron, in 36 patients receiving cisplatin (CDDP)-containing chemotherapy for head and neck cancer. Following chemotherapy, the antinausea/vomiting inhibition rate for each dexamethasone dose was measured.
During the 24-h period following administration of chemotherapy (acute phase), the antinausea/vomiting inhibition rates (no nausea and no episodes of vomiting) for 8 mg and 16 mg dexamethasone were comparably high (58.3% and 63.8%, respectively; P = 0.8092). Similar results were seen on days 2–5 following chemotherapy. Efficacy during the acute phase, based on the number of instances of vomiting and degree of nausea, was also comparably high for the two dexamethasone doses (overall efficacy rates were 94.4% and 88.8%, respectively, for 8 mg and 16 mg dexamethasone; P = 0.7637). Both doses maintained an 80% or higher response rate until day 3, and neither dose produced severe side effects.
The results suggest that granisetron and dexamethasone combination therapy is useful in controlling acute and delayed nausea and vomiting induced by CDDP-containing chemotherapy for head and neck cancer. Furthermore, 8 mg and 16 mg dexamethasone have equivalent antiemetic efficacy.