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Published on 1 June 2009

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EMEND regimen effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced vomiting

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New data presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting show that EMEND® (aprepitant), administered in combination with a standard antiemetic regimen, is 76.2% effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in men and women with a broad range of tumour types receiving a range of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC). This demonstrated an improvement of 14.1% compared with standard therapy alone (p<0.01)

In this study, 76.2% of patients who received the aprepitant antiemetic regimen reported no vomiting after the first cycle of chemotherapy (0 to 120 hours post-initiation of MEC) compared with 62.1% of those receiving the standard regimen (p<0.01). In addition, 68.7% of patients treated with aprepitant achieved a complete response, defined as no vomiting and no use of rescue medications up to 120 hours post-chemotherapy, versus 56.3 percent of patients treated with the standard regimen (p<0.01). The effect of aprepitant on no vomiting and complete response was preserved in subgroups of cancer patients with breast, gastrointestinal (including colorectal), lung and gynaecological (including ovarian) tumours.

The overall incidence and types of adverse events were similar between the two treatment groups. The number of patients with drug-related adverse events, serious adverse events (including deaths) and adverse events resulting in discontinuation were similar in the two treatment groups. The most frequently reported drug-related clinical adverse events in both treatment groups were constipation, fatigue, headache and diarrhoea.

“This is the first study to demonstrate the efficacy of EMEND in men and women treated with a broad range of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy regimens for various types of cancer,” said Bernardo Rapoport, MD, Medical Oncology Center of Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa. “These findings are important because moderately emetogenic chemotherapies are used in diverse patient populations, and adequate control of nausea and vomiting remains a significant challenge with these agents.”

Despite significant progress in its management, nausea and vomiting continues to affect around eight in 10 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and remains one of the most feared side-effects of the treatment. Uncontrolled nausea and vomiting can limit the effectiveness of cancer therapy and reduce patient quality of life.

EMEND is the first in a new class of antiemetic treatments called neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonists that treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It is believed to work by directly blocking the nausea and vomiting signals to the brain caused by chemotherapy agents – different from all other antiemetic treatments, which primarily block the nausea and vomiting signals originating in the stomach. ASCO and MASCC guidelines recommend aprepitant as standard therapy for prevention of CINV.

MSD



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