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      A randomized phase III study evaluating the efficacy and safety of NEPA, a fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron, for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting following moderately emetogenic chemotherapy

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          NEPA is an oral single, fixed-dose combination of netupitant, a new highly selective NK 1 RA and palonosetron (PALO), a pharmacologically/clinically distinct 5-HT 3 RA. It delivers antiemetic guideline-recommended prophylaxis by targeting two critical molecular pathways associated with chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting. This Phase III study demonstrated the superiority of NEPA compared with PALO.



          Antiemetic guidelines recommend co-administration of agents that target multiple molecular pathways involved in emesis to maximize prevention and control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). NEPA is a new oral fixed-dose combination of 300 mg netupitant, a highly selective NK 1 receptor antagonist (RA) and 0.50 mg palonosetron (PALO), a pharmacologically and clinically distinct 5-HT 3 RA, which targets dual antiemetic pathways.

          Patients and methods

          This multinational, randomized, double-blind, parallel group phase III study (NCT01339260) in 1455 chemotherapy-naïve patients receiving moderately emetogenic (anthracycline–cyclophosphamide) chemotherapy evaluated the efficacy and safety of a single oral dose of NEPA versus a single oral dose (0.50 mg) of PALO. All patients also received oral dexamethasone (DEX) on day 1 only (12 mg in the NEPA arm and 20 mg in the PALO arm). The primary efficacy end point was complete response (CR: no emesis, no rescue medication) during the delayed (25–120 h) phase in cycle 1.


          The percentage of patients with CR during the delayed phase was significantly higher in the NEPA group compared with the PALO group (76.9% versus 69.5%; P = 0.001), as were the percentages in the overall (0–120 h) (74.3% versus 66.6%; P = 0.001) and acute (0–24 h) (88.4% versus 85.0%; P = 0.047) phases. NEPA was also superior to PALO during the delayed and overall phases for all secondary efficacy end points of no emesis, no significant nausea and complete protection (CR plus no significant nausea). NEPA was well tolerated with a similar safety profile as PALO.


          NEPA plus a single dose of DEX was superior to PALO plus DEX in preventing CINV following moderately emetogenic chemotherapy in acute, delayed and overall phases of observation. As a fixed-dose antiemetic drug combination, NEPA along with a single dose of DEX on day 1 offers guideline-based prophylaxis with a convenient, single-day treatment.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Antiemetics: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline update.

          To update the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guideline for antiemetics in oncology. A systematic review of the medical literature was completed to inform this update. MEDLINE, the Cochrane Collaboration Library, and meeting materials from ASCO and the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer were all searched. Primary outcomes of interest were complete response and rates of any vomiting or nausea. Thirty-seven trials met prespecified inclusion and exclusion criteria for this systematic review. Two systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration were identified; one surveyed the pediatric literature. The other compared the relative efficacy of the 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT(3)) receptor antagonists. Combined anthracycline and cyclophosphamide regimens were reclassified as highly emetic. Patients who receive this combination or any highly emetic agents should receive a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist, dexamethasone, and a neurokinin 1 (NK(1)) receptor antagonist. A large trial validated the equivalency of fosaprepitant, a single-day intravenous formulation, with aprepitant; either therapy is appropriate. Preferential use of palonosetron is recommended for moderate emetic risk regimens, combined with dexamethasone. For low-risk agents, patients can be offered dexamethasone before the first dose of chemotherapy. Patients undergoing high emetic risk radiation therapy should receive a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist before each fraction and for 24 hours after treatment and may receive a 5-day course of dexamethasone during fractions 1 to 5. The Update Committee noted the importance of continued symptom monitoring throughout therapy. Clinicians underestimate the incidence of nausea, which is not as well controlled as emesis.
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            Efficacy and tolerability of aprepitant for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with breast cancer after moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.

            This is the first study in which the NK(1)-receptor antagonist, aprepitant (APR), was evaluated for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) with moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. Eligible breast cancer patients were naive to emetogenic chemotherapy and treated with cyclophosphamide +/- doxorubicin or epirubicin. Patients were randomly assigned to either an aprepitant regimen (day 1, APR 125 mg, ondansetron (OND) 8 mg, and dexamethasone 12 mg before chemotherapy and OND 8 mg 8 hours later; days 2 through 3, APR 80 qd) [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] or a control regimen (day 1, OND 8 mg and dexamethasone 20 mg before chemotherapy and OND 8 mg 8 hours later; days 2 through 3, OND 8 mg bid). Data on nausea, vomiting, and use of rescue medication were collected with a self-report diary. The primary efficacy end point was the proportion of patients with complete response, defined as no vomiting and no use of rescue therapy, during 120 hours after initiation of chemotherapy in cycle 1. The secondary end point was the proportion of patients with an average item score higher than 6 of 7 on the Functional Living Index-Emesis questionnaire. Of 866 patients randomized, 857 patients (99%) were assessable. Overall complete response was greater with the aprepitant regimen than with the control regimen (50.8% v 42.5%; P = .015). More patients in the aprepitant group reported minimal or no impact of CINV on daily life (63.5% v 55.6%; P = .019). Both treatments were generally well tolerated. The aprepitant regimen was more effective than the control regimen for prevention of CINV in patients receiving both an anthracycline and cyclophosphamide.
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              The effect of guideline-consistent antiemetic therapy on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV): the Pan European Emesis Registry (PEER).

              While guidelines for preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) are widely available, clinical uptake of guidelines remains low. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of guideline-consistent CINV prophylaxis (GCCP) on patient outcomes. This prospective, observational multicenter study enrolled chemotherapy-naive adults initiating single-day highly or moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC or MEC) for cancer. Patients completed 6-day daily diaries beginning with cycle 1 for up to three chemotherapy cycles. The primary study end point, complete response (no emesis and no use of rescue therapy) during 120 h after cycle 1 chemotherapy, was compared between GCCP and guideline-inconsistent CINV prophylaxis (GICP) cohorts using multivariate logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounding factors. In cycle 1 (N=991), use of GCCP was 55% and 46% during acute and delayed phases, respectively, and 29 % for the overall study period (acute plus delayed phases). Complete response was recorded by 172/287 (59.9%) and 357/704 (50.7%) patients in GCCP and GICP cohorts, respectively (P=0.008). The adjusted odds ratio for complete response was 1.43 (95% confidence interval 1.04-1.97; P=0.027) for patients receiving GCCP versus GICP. GCCP reduces the incidence of CINV after single-day HEC and MEC.

                Author and article information

                Ann Oncol
                Ann. Oncol
                Annals of Oncology
                Oxford University Press
                July 2014
                05 March 2014
                05 March 2014
                : 25
                : 7
                : 1328-1333
                [1 ]Institut Multidisciplinaire d'Oncologie, Clinique de Genolier , Genolier, Switzerland
                [2 ]Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco , San Francisco, USA
                [3 ]Corporate Clinical Development, Statistics and Data Management, Helsinn Healthcare , Lugano, Switzerland
                [4 ]Department of Oncology, Dnepropetrovsk Medical Academy , Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
                [5 ]Nzoz Magodent , Warsaw, Poland
                [6 ]Oncomed SRL, Timisoara, Romania
                [7 ]Hospital Universitario, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León , Monterrey, Mexico
                [8 ]National Cancer Institute Giovanni Paolo II , Bari, Italy
                [9 ]Department of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Staedt. Klinikum Neuperlach and Harlaching , München, Germany
                [10 ]The West Clinic , Memphis
                [11 ]Fletcher Allen Health Care , Burlington, USA
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence to: Dr Matti Aapro, Institut Multidisciplinaire d'Oncologie (IMO), Clinique de Genolier, Case Postale (PO Box) 100, Route du Muids 3, 1272 Genolier, Switzerland. Tel: +41-22-3669136; E-mail: maapro@ 123456genolier.net
                © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@ 123456oup.com

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