INTRODUCTION: Antiemetic prophylaxis for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and the development of new antiemetic drugs are expanding areas of research. However, studies of antiemetic prophylaxis in chemoradiotherapy have not been prioritised, and little is known about the proper timing, duration, and combination of antiemetic drugs for the prevention of chemoradiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (C-RINV).
AREAS COVERED: The article summarises the available antiemetic studies, the evidence for antiemetic prophylaxis of C-RINV, and the future perspectives for antiemetic research in chemoradiotherapy.
EXPERT OPINION: Antiemetic prophylaxis for patients receiving concomitant chemoradiotherapy has, for many years, been an orphan research area. The distinction between acute and delayed nausea and vomiting does not apply to fractionated radiotherapy, and prophylaxis should be considered to cover the entire course of treatment and not only the acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The best prophylaxis in women receiving fractionated radiotherapy and concomitant weekly cisplatin is a combination of the neurokinin receptor antagonist fosaprepitant with palonosetron and dexamethasone. Even with this three-drug combination nausea is a significant problem and the effect of multi-receptor targeting antiemetics such as olanzapine and amisulpride should be explored in this setting.