As a result of multiple, long-range studies by oncologist Rudolph M. Navari, M.D., Ph.D., the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has endorsed olanzapine as a first line therapy to assuage the effects of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, and its use when nausea and vomiting occur days after treatment.
NCCN is a not-for-profit alliance of almost two-dozen leading cancer centers, uses evidence-based clinical research to define and advance high-quality, high-value cancer care.
Over a 10 year period, a clinical research team led by Navari demonstrated the superior effectiveness of olanzapine compared to other approved antiemetics in lessening the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy. Later, Navari demonstrated the effectiveness of olanzapine to treat breakthrough nausea and vomiting that occurs some four to five days after chemotherapy.
Olanzapine was originally approved as an antipsychotic and can be administered for less than 50 cents a dose.
Earlier this year, Navari received a $2.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct further tests on the effectiveness of olanzapine as a precursor for instituting the treatment as an NCI-recommended therapy. Navari is the associate director of the Indiana School of Medicine - South Bend and an adjunct professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame.