Mary Lou Affronti 1 , 2 , 3 , Sarah Woodring 1 , 2 , Katherine B Peters 1 , 4 , James E Herndon II 5 , Frances McSherry 5 , Patrick N Healy 5 , Annick Desjardins 1 , 4 , James J Vredenburgh 6 , Henry S Friedman 1 , 2
23 December 2016
Given that the prognosis of recurrent malignant glioma (MG) remains poor, improving quality of life (QoL) through symptom management is important. Meta-analyses establishing antiemetic guidelines have demonstrated the superiority of palonosetron (PAL) over older 5-hydroxytryptamine 3-receptor antagonists in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) prevention, but excluded patients with gliomas. Irinotecan plus bevacizumab is a treatment frequently used in MG, but is associated with low (55%) CINV complete response (CR; no emesis or use of rescue antiemetic) with commonly prescribed ondansetron. A single-arm Phase II trial was conducted in MG patients to determine the efficacy of intravenous PAL (0.25 mg) and dexamethasone (DEX; 10 mg) received in conjunction with biweekly irinotecan–bevacizumab treatment. The primary end point was the proportion of subjects achieving acute CINV CR (no emesis or antiemetic ≤24 hours postchemotherapy). Secondary end points included delayed CINV CR (days 2–5), overall CINV CR (days 1–5), and QoL, fatigue, and toxicity.
A two-stage design of 160 patients was planned to differentiate between CINV CR of 55% and 65% after each dose of PAL–DEX. Validated surveys assessed fatigue and QoL.
A total of 63 patients were enrolled, after which enrollment was terminated due to slow accrual; 52 patients were evaluable for the primary outcome of acute CINV CR. Following PAL–DEX dose administrations 1–3, acute CINV CR rates were 62%, 68%, and 70%; delayed CINV CR rates were 62%, 66%, and 70%, and overall CINV CR rates were 47%, 57%, and 62%, respectively. Compared to baseline, there was a clinically meaningful increase in fatigue during acute and overall phases, but not in the delayed phase. There were no grade ≥3 PAL–DEX treatment-related toxicities.