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Issues in Palliative Care Research$
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Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.001.0001

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Clinical Trials of Antiemetics in the Palliative Care Setting: Research Issues

Clinical Trials of Antiemetics in the Palliative Care Setting: Research Issues

(p.67) 5 Clinical Trials of Antiemetics in the Palliative Care Setting: Research Issues
Issues in Palliative Care Research

Russell K. Portenoy

Eduardo Bruera

Oxford University Press

Nausea and vomiting are reported to occur in up to 62% of terminally ill patients, with 40% experiencing these symptoms in the last six weeks of life. Most of the existing research on antiemetics involves chemotherapy-induced or radiation-induced nausea and vomiting and may not be relevant to the treatment of symptoms resulting from advanced disease. Prospective studies with symptomatology documented at entrance to a palliative care program or hospice care and careful reporting of symptoms and treatment thereafter are needed. There are numerous problems inherent in the study of people with advanced disease. Such patients have a myriad of symptoms interacting with each other and each requiring treatment. Treating one symptom may exacerbate or improve another or cause entirely new problems. Determining whether improvement or exacerbation is part of the disease process, the treatment, or another emerging problem is often very difficult.

Keywords:   nausea, antiemetics, terminally ill patients, chemotherapy, radiation, vomiting

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