Sancuso (granisetron transdermal system) is now available by prescription in the U.S. for patients with chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting. The patch continuously releases granisetron into the bloodstream for up to five consecutive days.
The most common adverse reaction is constipation. No clinically relevant drug interactions have been reported in studies with Sancuso, according to the company.
Aranesp/IV iron aids chemo-induced anemia
Adding iron intravenously to darbepoetin alfa elicits a better response to chemotherapy-induced anemia than when darbepoetin alfa is taken alone, according to the results of a phase II trial presented at ESMO 2008.
Baltimore-based hematologist Michael Auerbach, MD, and colleagues studied 238 patients with lung, gastrointestinal, breast, and other tumor types. Two doses of darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) were compared: 500 mcg vs 300 mcg every three weeks along with IV iron or no IV iron. Target hemoglobin was at least 11 g/dL.
The researchers found 78% of 118 patients given 500 mcg of darbepoetin and 75% of 112 patients given 300 mcg reached this goal, as did 82% of 110 patients given IV iron versus 72% of 117 patients who did not receive IV iron. However, more research is needed to determine safety, commented Matti S. Aapro, MD, of the Institut Multidisciplinaire d’Oncologie in Genolier, Switzerland.