Rolapitant for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting over initial and repeat courses of emetogenic chemotherapy.
Introduction: Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a debilitating side effect of many cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens. Although sustained antiemetic control across repeated chemotherapy cycles is important for cancer treatment continuation, few studies have investigated the efficacy of antiemetic prophylaxis over multiple chemotherapy cycles.
Areas covered: Here we discuss the use of antiemetic hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor and neurokinin (NK)-1 receptor antagonists for prevention of CINV, limiting our review to clinical trials in the context of multiple-cycle chemotherapy, with a focus on the NK-1 receptor antagonist rolapitant. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists may be effective in controlling CINV over repeated chemotherapy cycles, but evidence comes primarily from noncomparative studies. NK-1 receptor antagonists provide increased protection against CINV but differences in endpoint selection and methods of analysis preclude meaningful comparisons between agents. Rolapitant shows sustained control of emesis and nausea over multiple cycles of chemotherapy, and compared to other NK-1 receptor antagonists, has a longer half-life and reduced potential for cytochrome P450 3A4-mediated drug-drug interactions.
Expert commentary: Trial design should be a key consideration in future studies of CINV therapies, including analytical methods utilized, choice of endpoints, and methods for accounting for nonresponders and patient attrition over multiple cycles of chemotherapy.