What the HEC is MEC? Understanding Antiemetic Therapy for Moderately and Highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy (230)

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Saturday, September 17
Optimal chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) control has been shown to improve patient’s quality of life and decrease distress. Without good control, both physical and psychological complications can occur, including anorexia, malnutrition, and nutritional deficiency. But what is optimal CINV control? Nausea without vomiting? No nausea? No vomiting? Only vomiting a few times? This definition can mean something different to every patient, provider, and nurse.
As nurses are on the frontline, they are often the ones to assess each patient’s CINV and strive to provide the best care possible. Pediatric patients are at increased risk of CINV due to their regimens often being more dose-intensive and administered over a longer duration as compared to the adult population. In addition, the incidence of CINV is often underestimated by healthcare providers. Of particular interest are highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) regimens and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy regimens (MEC). HEC is defined as chemotherapy regimens that induce nausea and vomiting within 24 hours in greater than 90% of patients without antiemetic prophylaxis and between 30-80% of patients receiving MEC. Pediatric oncology nurses are at the bedside and are integral in helping to manage CINV. By understanding the emetogenicity of different chemotherapy regimens, nurses can assist the care team to make informed choices about the best antiemetics. Through the use of case studies, published guidelines and attendee question/answer, we will discuss antiemetic therapy for disease based pediatric oncology chemotherapy regimens. The APHON nurse will have a good understanding of the intensity of nausea and vomiting caused by different chemotherapy regimens to be able to advocate for their patients.