Serotonin antagonists: A new class of antiemetic agents

Paul J. Hesketh, David R Gandara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Despite a number of significant advances over the past decade, prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced emesis remain formidable problems, particularly with cisplatin-containing regimens. Nearly one third of patients receiving high-dose cisplatin still experience substantial emesis despite the best available conventional antiemetics, and the toxic effects of these agents remain quite troublesome. In recent years, a new class of agents, the serotonin antagonists, has been identified. These agents hold promise for clinical utility in a wide range of areas. Selective antagonists of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) type 3 (5-HT3) receptor have proven in early clinical trials to be potent antiemetic agents in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, with efficacy comparable to or superior to that of conventional antiemetics. Toxic effects to date with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have been modest. The current state of knowledge with respect to these agents as antiemetics for patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy is summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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