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03.01.2019 | Review Article | Ausgabe 3/2019

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2019

Radiation-induced nausea and vomiting: a comparison between MASCC/ESMO, ASCO, and NCCN antiemetic guidelines

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2019
Erin McKenzie, Pearl Zaki, Srinivas Raman, Robert Olson, Thomas McFarlane, Carlo DeAngelis, Stephanie Chan, William Pidduck, Yasmeen Razvi, Ahmad Bushehri, Edward Chow
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Radiation-induced nausea and vomiting (RINV) can affect 50–80% of patients undergoing radiotherapy and negatively impacts quality of life. This review aimed to compare the most recent RINV antiemetic guidelines produced by the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC), the European Society of Clinical Oncology (ESMO), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Future improvements to the guidelines and the need for further research in RINV were also discussed.


Antiemetic guidelines produced by MASCC/ESMO, ASCO, and NCCN were examined to identify similarities, differences, and inadequacies within the guidelines.


Areas of dissension within the guidelines include the addition of dexamethasone to moderate-risk antiemetic regimens, the prophylactic treatment of RINV in the low-risk categories, and the appropriate treatment for breakthrough emesis. The guidelines are in accordance that high-risk radiotherapy regimens should be treated prophylactically with a serotonin receptor antagonist and for those undergoing concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, antiemetic treatment should be prescribed according to the emetic risk associated with their respective chemotherapy regimen. Low- and minimal-risk recommendations are based on low-level evidence and informal consensus.


RINV is a frequent and distressing side effect of radiotherapy and requires further research to establish effective antiemetic guidelines and ensure optimal treatment outcomes.

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