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Risk factors at pretreatment predicting treatment-induced nausea and vomiting in Australian cancer patients: a prospective, longitudinal, observational study



Risk factors at pretreatment predicting treatment-induced nausea and vomiting in Australian cancer patients: a prospective, longitudinal, observational study



Supportive Care in Cancer 19(10): 1549-1563



Despite significant advances in antiemetic management, almost 50% of cancer patients still experience nausea and vomiting during treatment. The goal of antiemetic therapy is complete prevention of treatment-induced nausea and/or vomiting (TINV); however, realisation of this goal remains elusive, thus supplementary strategies identifying patients at high risk must be employed in the interim. Consequently, we examined TINV incidence and its risk factors, including patient, clinical and pretreatment quality of life (QOL)/psychological factors. Two hundred newly diagnosed cancer patients beginning combined treatment participated in this prospective, longitudinal, observational study. QOL (including TINV), psychological adjustment, and patient/clinical characteristics were examined at pretreatment, on-treatment (8 weeks ± 1 week) and post-treatment. Overall, 62% of patients experienced TINV, with TIN incidence (60%) doubling that of TIV (27%). Eight independent risk factors predicted 73% of TIN incidence: high premorbid/anticipatory NV, moderately/highly emetogenic chemotherapy (M/HEC), longer treatment (>3 months), female gender, surgery prior to adjuvant chemotherapy ± radiotherapy, private health insurance and low emotional functioning (pretreatment). Six independent risk factors predicted 77% of TIV incidence: premorbid/anticipatory vomiting, M/HEC, female gender, cancer resection and low role functioning (pretreatment). TINV still represents a very major concern for patients. Several pretreatment risk factors for the development of TIN and TIV, respectively, were identified. Patients about to undergo cancer treatment, particularly combined treatment involving emetogenic chemotherapy and surgery, should be screened for these factors with a view to modifying standard pretreatment/maintenance antiemetic therapy. Furthermore, and consistent with recent research, it is recommended that more comprehensive interventions combining antiemetics with other effective pharmacological (e.g. anxiolytics) and non-pharmacological approaches (e.g. acupuncture, relaxation techniques) be considered by clinicians in attempts to improve control of TIN and TIV (and overall QOL) for their patients. In this way, optimal holistic care will be ensured for cancer patients by clinicians providing conventional oncology treatment.

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Accession: 055579959

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PMID: 20811914

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-010-0982-y


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