J Cancer 2020; 11(15):4560-4570. doi:10.7150/jca.45678

Research Paper

Efficacy and Safety of Thalidomide for Chemotherapy-induced Nausea and Vomiting

Nan Wang1,2,*, Peng Xu2,*, Yu Liu1, Peng Zhao3, Jian Ruan3, Yi Zheng1,2, Junpei Jin1,2, Shuqian Wang1, Jia Yao1, Dong Xiang4, Dai Zhang2, Na Li1,2, Huafeng Kang2✉, Zhijun Dai1✉

1. Department of Breast Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
2. Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.
3. Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
4. Celilo Cancer Center, Oregon Health Science Center affiliated Mid-Columbia medical center, The Dalles, OR, USA.
*NW and PX contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Wang N, Xu P, Liu Y, Zhao P, Ruan J, Zheng Y, Jin J, Wang S, Yao J, Xiang D, Zhang D, Li N, Kang H, Dai Z. Efficacy and Safety of Thalidomide for Chemotherapy-induced Nausea and Vomiting. J Cancer 2020; 11(15):4560-4570. doi:10.7150/jca.45678. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v11p4560.htm

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Abstract

Purpose: A substantial number of cancer patients discontinue chemotherapy due to severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of thalidomide (THD) in CINV.

Methods: We searched different databases to identify related studies that investigated the efficacy and safety of THD in CINV. The primary outcomes were CINV in the acute (0-24 h), delayed (24-120 h), and overall (0-120 h) phases, respectively. The secondary outcomes were the safety of THD and the patients' quality of life (QOL).

Results: Fourteen randomized control trials (RCTs) including 1744 patients (42% male) reported the risk ratio (RR) and 95%CI of the THD group versus control group in reducing nausea and vomiting. Meta-analysis showed that THD statistically enhanced the complete response rate of nausea and vomiting in the delayed (nausea: RR = 1.69, 95%CI: 1.47-1.94; vomiting: RR = 1.38, 95%CI: 1.26-1.51) and overall phases (nausea: RR = 1.54, 95%CI: 1.31-1.81; vomiting: RR = 1.31, 95%CI: 1.18-1.46). Furthermore, subgroup analysis based on THD dosage (100 vs 200 mg/day) demonstrated no statistical significance with respect to overlapping 95%CI. Thirty studies monitored the adverse events (AEs) of THD, all under grade 3 based on the CTCAE criteria. We compared the eight most common AEs; sedation, constipation, and drowsiness/dizziness were slightly frequent compared with controls.

Conclusion: THD is an effective adjuvant and a potential alternative in reducing delayed and overall CINV. Other regimens might be added for CINV during the acute phase.

Keywords: Thalidomide, Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Emesis