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Thursday 09 November 2006

Randomized, double-blind trial comparing the antiemetic effect of tropisetron plus metopimazine with tropisetron plus placebo in patients receiving multiple cycles of multiple-day cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

By: Herrstedt J, Sigsgaard T, Nielsen H, Handberg J, Langer S, Ottesen S, Dombernowsky P.

Support Care Cancer 2006 Nov 9; [Epub ahead of print]

PURPOSE: To compare the antiemetic efficacy and tolerability of tropisetron plus metopimazine with tropisetron plus placebo during 4 cycles of multiple-day, cisplatin-based chemotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 82 chemotherapy-naive patients with germ cell cancer scheduled to 4 cycles of multiple-day cisplatin-based chemotherapy (20 or 40 mg/m(2)/day for 5 days) given every 3 weeks were included. A double-blind parallel trial design was used and patients randomized to tropisetron plus metopimazine or tropisetron plus placebo. Tropisetron was administered as a single 5 mg intravenous dose on days 1-5 and a single 5 mg oral dose on day 6, and metopimazine as 30 mg orally t.i.d. on day 1, and q.i.d on days 2-6. RESULTS: Patients were evaluable for efficacy during a total of 195 cycles. Small, but certain advantages were obtained with the combination. In cycle 1, complete protection from emetic episodes on day 1, days 1-5, days 6-9 and days 1-9 was achieved in 85.7%, 42.9%, 86.2% and 40.5% with tropisetron plus metopimazine and in 90.0%, 22.5%, 64.3% and 17.5% with tropisetron plus placebo, respectively. This difference achieved statistical significance in the overall period, days 1-9 (P = 0.029). During the entire period (days 1-9), significantly less nausea was seen in patients receiving tropisetron plus metopimazine (P = 0.027), whereas other nausea parameters did not reach statistical significance. The cumulative emetic protection rate after 4 cycles was 0.51 with tropisetron plus metopimazine and 0.25 with tropisetron plus placebo (P = 0.037). Side effects were generally few and mild with both treatments and no significant differences were seen. CONCLUSION: Tropisetron plus metopimazine is superior to tropisetron during 4 cycles of multiple-day cisplatin-based chemotherapy, but both treatments are ineffective in a number of patients. The effect of the combination seems comparable to that of ondansetron plus dexamethasone. Newer drugs such as the neurokinin(1) receptor antagonist, aprepitant, should be investigated to optimize antiemetic therapy in patients receiving multiple-day chemotherapy.

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