Kytril® more effective in controlling chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting

June 25, 2002

Boston, MA, USA: New data presented today to international delegates attending the 14th Annual Meeting of the Multinational Association of Supportive Cancer Care (MASCC), showed that Kytril® (granisetron) is significantly more effective than dolasetron in patients undergoing intravenous chemotherapy which causes moderately-high rates of nausea and vomiting. Kytril is a potent and highly selective 5-HT3-receptor antagonist antiemetic agent indicated for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with the treatment of chemotherapy.

Researchers lead by Dr. Marianne Tan, Stony Brook Hospital, Stony Brook, N.Y., USA, presented results of a prospective study designed to determine response to antiemetic therapy while undergoing intravenous chemotherapy for lymphoma or malignancies of the lung, larynx or uterus.1 Kytril provided significantly greater control of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) than dolasetron. More patients treated with Kytril experienced total control of nausea and vomiting compared to oral dolasetron (69.2 percent versus 23.1 percent, P<0.05), and fewer Kytril-treated patients experienced emesis (7.7 percent versus 53.8 percent, P<0.05), and nausea (30.8 percent versus 76.9 percent, P<0.05). Consequently, a greater proportion of patients treated with oral dolasetron required significantly more doses of antiemetics to be given in a rescue regimen. Twenty-six patients participated in the study and received a single oral dose of Kytril 2 mg or dolasetron 100 mg, with dexamethasone 20 mg intravenously, prior to the initiation of chemotherapy.

"This study reinforces Kytril's effectiveness for patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy," stated Dr. Tan. "Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy can cause considerable physical and emotional distress to cancer patients. That's why it is vital that physicians make the correct decision about anti-emetic treatment prior to initiating chemotherapy. Factors such as providing true 24-hour coverage from nausea and vomiting, as well as selecting an agent with minimal risk of drug interactions are important considerations. Selecting a less effective treatment results not only in the additional costs for the rescue treatment, but in unnecessary suffering for the patient."

According to additional data presented by Dr Matti Aapro, Clinique de Genolier, Switzerland, the practice of down dosing, frequently employed by clinicians due to financial considerations, may in fact be a false economy, both in terms of cost and patient benefits.2

"Because of cost, clinicians often prescribe antiemetics at doses lower than those indicated. However, the evidence from my review suggests that when clinicians vary the dose, the patients don't respond in the same manner to all the drugs, and in some instances efficacy can be lost at the lower doses. I would strongly urge clinicians to always administer the most affective dose" said Dr. Aapro.

Finally, Dr. James Carmichael, Department of Clinical Oncology, Newcastle General Hospital, UK, today presented data from two Phase II trials evaluating the cardiovascular safety of high-dose intravenous Kytril in cancer patients receiving emetogenic chemotherapy.3 The results indicated that even at high doses, Kytril had no clinically important effect on electrocardiogram, pulse, blood pressure, clinical chemistry and haematology parameters.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-oriented healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vitamins. Roche's innovative products and services address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's well being and quality of life. For more information on the Roche pharmaceuticals business, visit the company's web site at:

'Kytril' is a trade mark property of Roche

Notes to editors:

Kytril is a potent and highly selective 5-HT3-receptor antagonist with little or no affinity for other receptors. This selectivity is the key to the unique mechanism of action of Kytril. Kytril has unsurpassed efficacy and potency, providing 24-hour coverage for acute and late acute nausea and vomiting and has proven sustained antiemetic efficacy over repeat cycles of chemotherapy. Kytril in both intravenous and oral forms has been shown to be safe and well tolerated in numerous clinical trials involving over 6,000 patients. More information is available at


  1. Tan M, Xu R, Seth R. Granisetron vs. dolasetron for acute nausea and vomiting in high and moderately-high emetogenic chemotherapy. MASCC, Boston, 2002, Abs.

  2. Aapro M. 5-HT3-receptor antagonists: can we safely reduce the dose of administered agents? MASCC, Boston, 2002, Abs.

  3. Carmichael J. The cardiovascular safety of high-dose intravenous granisetron in cancer patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. MASCC, Boston, 2002, Abs.

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