Radiation Oncology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Nausea and vomiting are among the most serious side effects of chemotherapy, in some cases leading to treatment interruption or chemotherapy dose reduction. Ginger has long been known as an antiemetic drug, used for conditions such as motion sickness, nausea-vomiting in pregnancy, and post-operation side effects. One hundred and fifty female patients with breast cancer entered this prospective study and were randomized to receive ginger (500 mg ginger powder, twice a day for 3 days) or placebo. One hundred and nineteen patients completed the study 57 of them received ginger and 62 received ginger for the frst 3 chemotherapy cycles. Mean age in all patients was 48.6 (25-79) years. After 1st chemotherapy, mean nausea in the ginger and control arms were 1.36 (1.31) and 1.46 (1.28) with no statistically significant difference. After the 2nd chemotherapy session, nausea score was slightly more in the ginger group (1.36 versus 1.32). After 3rd chemotherapy, mean nausea severity in control group was less than ginger group [1.37 (1.14), versus 1.42 (1.30)]. Considering all patients, nausea was slightly more severe in ginger arm. In ginger arm mean nausea score was 1.42 (0.96) and in control arm it was 1.40 (0.92). Mean vomiting scores after chemotherapy in ginger arm were 0.719 (1.03), 0.68 (1.00) and 0.77 (1.18). In control arm, mean vomiting was 0.983 (1.23), 1.03 (1.22) and 1.15 (1.27). In all sessions, ginger decreased vomiting severity from 1.4 (1.04) to 0.71 (0.86). None of the differences were significant. In those patients who received the AC regimen, vomiting was less severe (0.640.87) comparing to those who received placebo (1.131.12), which was statistically significant (p-Value <0.05). Further and larger studies are needed to draw conclusions.