Original Article| Volume 62, ISSUE 2, P223-232.e1, August 2021

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Fixed-Dose Netupitant and Palonosetron for Chronic Nausea in Cancer Patients: A Double-Blind, Placebo Run-in Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial



      No clinical trials have examined the effect of netupitant/palonosetron (NEPA) on chronic nausea in patients with cancer.


      In this pilot randomized trial, we assessed the efficacy of NEPA and placebo on chronic nausea.


      This double-blind, parallel, randomized trial enrolled patients with cancer and chronic nausea for at least 1 month, intensity ≥4/10 and not on moderately or highly emetogenic systemic therapies. Patients started with a placebo run-in period from days 1 to 5; those without a placebo response proceeded to the double-blinded phase between days 6 to 15 (NEPA: placebo 2:1 ratio). The primary outcome was within-group change in average nausea over the 24 hours on a 0–10 numeric rating scale between day 5 and 15.


      Among the 53 enrolled patients, 46 proceeded to placebo run-in and 33 had blinded treatment (22 NEPA and 11 placebo). We observed a statistically significant within-group improvement in nausea numeric rating scale between day 5 and 15 in the NEPA group (mean change, −2.0; 95% CI, −3.1 to −0.8) and the placebo group (mean change, −2.3; 95% CI, −3.9 to −0.7). A complete response was achieved in 8 (38%) patients in the NEPA group and 2 (20%) in the placebo group by day 15. No grade 3–4 toxicities were attributed to NEPA. There were no statistically significant between-group differences for the primary/secondary outcomes.


      NEPA and placebo were associated with similar magnitude of within-group improvement in chronic nausea without significant between-group differences ( NCT03040726).

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