PURPOSE: This review summarizes the recommendations for the prophylaxis of nausea and vomiting in adults receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) which includes cisplatin, mechlorethamine, streptozocin, cyclophosphamide >1500 mg/m(2), carmustine, dacarbazine, and the combination of an anthracycline and cyclophosphamide (AC) administered to women with breast cancer, as agreed at the MASCC/ESMO Antiemetic Guidelines Update meeting in Copenhagen in June 2015.
METHODS: A systematic review of the literature using PubMed and the Cochrane Database from 2009 to June 2015 was performed.
RESULTS: The NK1-receptor antagonists netupitant (300 mg given in combination with palonosetron 0.5 mg as NEPA) and rolapitant have both completed phase II and III programs and were approved by FDA (both) and EMA (NEPA) in 2014-2015. Addition of one of these agents (or of (fos)aprepitant) to a combination of a serotonin (5-HT)3-receptor antagonist and dexamethasone improved the number of patients with a complete response (no emesis and no rescue medication) days 1-5 after AC HEC with 8-9 % and after non-AC HEC by 8-20 %. Olanzapine has improved control of delayed nausea as compared to aprepitant in a randomized open designed study. In the prophylaxis of delayed nausea and vomiting, metoclopramide is an option instead of aprepitant in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy and dexamethasone is an option instead of aprepitant in patients receiving AC chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Two new NK1-receptor antagonists (netupitant and rolapitant) have been included in the updated recommendations as additional options to aprepitant or fosaprepitant. Addition of one of these NK1-receptor antagonists to a combination of a 5-HT3-receptor antagonist and dexamethasone is recommended in both non-AC HEC and AC HEC. Olanzapine is included as an option in HEC in particular if nausea is the main symptom.