In the Stacks

Historical Perspective on the Progress of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting Treatment in Oncology Nursing Forum

Anne Marie C. Flaherty

chemotherapy, nausea/vomiting, nausea, vomiting, symptom management
ONF 2013, 40(3), 205-207. DOI: 10.1188/13.ONF.205-207

Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) published an article in its early newsletter format in 1977 entitled "Variables Affecting Nausea and Vomiting" (Mayer Scogna, 1977). That literature review provided an excellent analysis of the state of the art in the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) at that time. Healthcare providers knew that the vomiting center, chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ), and vagal afferents in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract were intimately involved in CINV and that multiple and varied chemoreceptors existed in the CTZ. Unfortunately, interventions lagged compared to the knowledge of the pathophysiology of the CINV process. Only 13 studies on the effectiveness of available antiemetics were published from 1964 to 1977, and no new agents had been developed since the 1950s (Mayer Scogna, 1977). That study investigated whether extrinsic factors, subjective attitude about effectiveness of chemotherapy, hours of sleep prior to treatment, activity level, or food intake affected CINV and found that they did not. Mayer Scogna (1977) recognized anticipatory nausea and vomiting, referring to this as a conditioned psychological component, and noted the lack of reliable tools to objectively measure nausea and vomiting.

Jump to a section


    Aapro, M. S. (1982). Effects and side-effects of cisplatin. Lancet, 1, 682-684.
    Cotter, J. (2009). Efficacy of crude marijuana and synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: A systematic literature review. Oncology Nursing Forum, 36, 345-352.
    Eagan, A. P., Taggart, J. R., & Bender C. M. (1992). Management of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting using a serotonin antagonist. Oncology Nursing Forum, 19, 791-795.
    Engstrom, C., Hernanadez, I., Haywood, J., & Lilenbaum, R. (1999). The efficacy and cost effectiveness of new antiemetic guidelines. Oncology Nursing Forum, 26, 1453-1456.
    Gralla, R. J., Itri, L. M., Pisko, S. E., Squillante, A. E., Kelsen, D. P., Braun, D. W., Jr., … Young, C. W. (1981). Antiemetic efficacy of high-dose metoclopramide: Randomized trials with placebo and prochlorperazine in patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. New England Journal of Medicine, 305, 905-909. doi:10.1056/NEJM198110153051601
    Gralla, R. J., Osoba, D., Kris, M. G., Kirkbride, P., Hesketh, P. J., Chinnery, L. W., … Pfister, D. G. (1999). Recommendations for the use of antiemetics: Evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines—American Society of Clinical Oncology. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 17, 2971-2994.
    Grunberg, S. M., Deuson, R. R., Mavros, P., Geling, O., Hansen, M., Cruciani, G., … Daugaard G. (2004). Incidence of chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis after modern antiemetics. Cancer, 100, 2261-2268.
    Marek, C. (2003). Antiemetic therapy in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Oncology Nursing Forum, 30, 259-271.
    Maxwell, M. B. (1982). Special feature: In quest of an effective antiemetic in cancer chemotherapy. Research with antiemetics for cancer chemotherapy: Problems and possibilities. Oncology Nursing Forum, 9(3), 11-16.
    Mayer Scogna, D. (1977, July). Variables affecting nausea and vomiting. Oncology Nursing Society Newsletter, 5-7.
    National Comprehensive Cancer Network. (2012). NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines: Antiemesis [v.1.2012]. Retrieved from
    Price, H., Williams, C. J., & Sergiou, K. (1992). A randomized trial of acupressure for chemotherapy induced emesis [Abstract 1394]. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in San Diego, CA.
    Rhodes, V. A., Watson, P. M., Johnson, M. H., Madsen, R. W., & Beck, N. C. (1987). Patterns of nausea, vomiting, and distress in patients receiving antineoplastic drug protocols. Oncology Nursing Forum, 14(4), 35-44.
    Roila, F., Herrstedt, J., Aapro, M., Gralla, R. J., Einhorn, L. H., Ballatori, E., … Warr, D. (2010). Guideline update for MASCC and ESMO in the prevention of chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Annals of Oncology, 21(Suppl. 5), v232-v243.
    Suh, E. E. (2012). The effects of P6 acupressure and nurse-provided counseling on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with breast cancer [Online exclusive]. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39, E1-E9.
    U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (2011). FDA drug safety communication: Abnormal heart rhythms may be associated with use of Zofran® (ondansetron). Retrieved from
    Wickham, R. (1989). Managing chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting: The state of the art. Oncology Nursing Forum, 16, 563-574.