NEW YORKMembers of eight major oncologic organizations are working
together to produce a set of uniform guidelines for the prevention and control
of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The ad hoc international group is working to reconcile the six sets of
guidelines already issued by various professional organizations, according to
Richard Gralla, MD, associate director and professor of medicine, Herbert
Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center of Columbia University College of Medicine.
The collaboration includes representatives of oncology nursing, pharmacy, and medical oncology, as well as of the Multinational
Society for Supportive Care in Cancer, Dr. Gralla said during an international
teleconference for health professionals sponsored by the European Association
for Cancer Education and Cancer Care, Inc.
Dr. Gralla is one of about 20 individuals from the United States, Canada,
the United Kingdom, and Europe involved in the guidelines project. He said that
preliminary results have been presented at several meetings in the United
States and Europe, with the final document slated for submission for publication later this year.
When the guidelines are finalized, the group hopes to make them easily
available in such forms as laminated cards and files that can be downloaded
from the Internet.
Different countries now follow varying guidelines for prevention and
treatment of nausea and vomiting, although studies point to a single set of
effective approaches. The dosages of various agents currently being prescribed
vary widely, he observed. In addition, studies show that even existing
guidelines are often not followed.