CHICAGO, IL— A ginger extract, 6-gingerol, improves chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), according to findings from a phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The compound “significantly reduces CINV, improves appetite and quality of life,” concluded lead author Konmun, MD, of the Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, and coauthors. “A larger clinical trial is warranted to confirm these results.”

6-gingerol displays “antagonistic activity to NK1, serotonin, and dopamine receptors,” the coauthors noted.

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They enrolled 87 patients undergoing moderately- to highly-emetogenic anticancer chemotherapy regimens, randomly assigning participants to receive either 6-gingerol (10 mg orally, twice daily; n=41) or placebo (n=46), starting 3 days before chemotherapy induction. Most patients were administered anthracyclines.

All patients were also administered antiemetic serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist and dexamethasone.

Nausea and vomiting scores and quality of life were measured at baseline and regularly during chemotherapy; acute and delayed (>24 hours) CINV were measured after each administration of chemotherapy.

Patients in the 6-gingerol group had significantly better maintenance of appetite and lower rates of vomiting and  moderate-to-severe acute and delayed nausea (P value for acute vomiting = .013; all other Ps ≤ .002). Grade 3-4 fatigue was significantly lower among patients taking 6-gingerol (P = .02). For placebo-group patients but not patients taking 6-gingerol, quality of life measures declined during chemotherapy, Dr. Konmun noted.

Mean glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase diverged between the two groups, as well, with declines in the placebo group and increases in the 6-gingerol group (Ps ≤ .001).

Abstract #9647