New treatment 'can address chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting'

21 July 2016

The nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy could be reduced through the use of a new treatment that blocks neurotransmitters.

This is according to new research from Sanford Health, which showed that olanzapine, which is approved for use as an antipsychotic agent, can significantly improve nausea prevention in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

By interrupting the action of neurotransmitters involved with nausea and vomiting, the therapy was able to help 74 per cent of a group of study participants to avoid any incidents of nausea or vomiting during their chemotherapy.

When a placebo was used instead of olanzapine, that figure dropped to 45 per cent. This benefit continued for five days after chemotherapy treatment for many patients, showing that this drug could prove helpful in tackling one of the key issues affecting the quality of life for people receiving chemotherapy.

Sanford Health oncologist and cancer researcher Steven Powell said: "The findings of this study, fortunately, provide physicians with a tool to better address the needs of those they are treating for cancer."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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