Antiemetic drugs used during anticancer chemotherapy, with special emphasis on aprepitant
Affiliation and adress for correspondence

Katedra i Klinika Położnictwa, Chorób Kobiecych i Ginekologii Onkologicznej II Wydziału Lekarskiego Warszawskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego. Kierownik Katedry i Kliniki: prof. dr hab. n. med. Jerzy Stelmachów
Correspondence to: Katedra i Klinika Położnictwa, Chorób Kobiecych i Ginekologii Onkologicznej II Wydziału Lekarskiego Warszawskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego, ul. Kondratowicza 8 E, 03-242 Warszawa
Source of financing: Department own sources

CURR. GYNECOL. ONCOL. 2011, 9 (1), p. 26-37
ABSTRACT

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms occurring in 70% of patients treated for late-stage cancer, exerting a tremendous impact on their quality of life and everyday activity. Severity of nausea and vomiting depends on the following factors: type and dose of cytostatic agent, treatment protocol and way of administration, as well as on the patient’s age, gender and alcohol abuse. Novel antiemetic drugs include EMEND, containing aprepitant as active substance. It acts by blocking neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1). In vivo, NK1 receptor is activated by binding substance P, which results in feeling of nausea and vomiting. EMEND blocks this reaction by preventing binding of substance P to the NK1 receptor. Furthermore, this agent does not show any affinity to serotonin-, dopamine- or corticosteroid-associated receptors. In spite of a noticeable progress in cancer chemotherapy, no worthwhile improvement has been obtained in the treatment of nausea and vomiting – well known adverse effects of cytostatics, considerably compromising the patients’ quality of life. Therefore, in 2009, representatives of two scientific societies – the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) – have met in Perugia, Italy, in order to develop a consensus concerning preventive and therapeutic management in this group of patients. This meeting has produced recommendations for prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. These guidelines, depending on goal of prevention, are presented in the paper.

Keywords: antiemetic drugs, aprepitant, ovarian cancer, chemotherapy, surgical treatment