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Vol. 29, No. 1-2, 2006
Issue release date: January 2006
Onkologie 2006;29:39-43

Neurokinin-1-Receptor Antagonists: A New Approach in Antiemetic Therapy

Jordan K.
Department of Hematology/Oncology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

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Aprepitant (Emend®), the first neurokinin-1-receptor antagonist (NK-1-RA), represents a new class of antiemetics. Aprepitant has been approved for the prevention and treatment of acute (0-24 h after chemotherapy) and delayed (1-5 days after chemotherapy) emesis resulting from cisplatin-based chemotherapy and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. The addition of aprepitant to standard antiemetic therapy in cisplatin-based chemotherapy significantly improves emesis protection in general and, in particular, in the delayed phase by approximately 20%. Results from a recently published study in patients receiving moderately emetogenic chemotherapy suggest a benefit of aprepitant when combined with dexamethasone and a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist for the prevention of acute emesis, followed by aprepitant as a single agent in the prevention of delayed emesis. Altogether, the addition of aprepitant to the standard antiemetic regimen (5-HT3 receptor antagonist and dexamethasone) significantly improves the protection against vomiting in the acute as well as in the delayed phase in highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapies. Therefore, the combination of a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, dexamethasone and aprepitant should be considered as a new standard antiemetic therapy.

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