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Saturday 01 December 2001

Comparative study of tropisetron with the addition of dexamethasone or alprazolam in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy with CEF (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin and 5-fluorouracil).

By: Tsavaris N, Kosmas C, Vadiaka M, Sougioultzis S, Kontos A, Agelopoulou A, Boulamatsis D, Koufos C.

J Chemother 2001 Dec;13(6):641-7

We studied tropisetron (T) in patients with breast cancer receiving standard adjuvant chemotherapy with CEF (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin and 5-fluorouracil) over 3 consecutive cycles; T was administered alone or in combination with dexamethasone (D) or alprazolam (A). 50 women entered and during the 1st cycle patients received T i.v. before chemotherapy and the same dose orally on each of the following 3 days. In the 2nd cycle, T was administered together with D and during the 3rd cycle, T was combined with A and continued with T over the ensuing 3 days post-chemotherapy. Stress was present in 23 women and was evaluated for its impact on antiemetic response. Differences in the emetogenic response were found for nausea and vomiting mainly with the addition of A. The combination of T+A was superior to T and T+D in acute emesis (P<0.001). Concerning delayed emesis, differences were detected with both T+D and T+A (being equally effective) and superior to T alone (P<0.001). The emetogenic potential was decreased by the addition of A in comparison to T alone (P=0.001). Patients without stress had no difference, while patients with stress had a significantly better antiemetic result with the addition of D or A to T. In conclusion, T provides a satisfactory result in controlling nausea and emesis caused by moderately emetogenic CT regimens. Addition of D or A improves the antiemetic effect, and A provides better coverage in women with stress, a finding worth exploration in larger confirmatory studies.

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