Despite the rise in popularity of targeted therapies, traditional chemotherapy is still a mainstay of cancer treatment. Nonetheless, many patients cannot tolerate the chemotherapy regimen they are supposed to take because of the nausea and vomiting it causes, in spite of medications taken to prevent this side effect.
Dr. Rudolph Navari of Indiana University of Medicine reports that the results of a trial investigating known antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) to suppress nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy use will be presented at the upcoming ASCO meeting on June 1-5, 2012. Apparently, Zyprexa reduces these common side effects much more effectively than a drug often used to treat nausea and vomiting.
ASCO’s president-elect Sandra Swain, MD, commented on these data, “These are truly remarkable results.” Dr. Swain feels that the strength of these study results may convince some patients to remain on chemotherapy for their full regimen, rather than discontinuing, as often happens. When chemotherapy has a chance of completely eradicating a cancer, the patient must remain on the drug for the full dosing cycle to get the predicted benefit. Reducing the nausea and vomiting that accompanies chemotherapy, by adding Zyprexa, may help more patients complete their treatment cycles.
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