Massage Could Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea, Vomiting

By Leah Lawrence - Last Updated: October 5, 2022

The use of a short-course electric massage chair in addition to standard of care helped to preserve quality of life and reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in high-emetic risk patients with cancer, according to a study presented at the ESMO Congress 2022.

“CINV are the most common and serious side effects of chemotherapy,” study researchers wrote. “Multiple antiemetic agents are widely used to reduce CINV, but they do not completely control the symptoms and often cause undesirable side effects.”

Researchers from Korea conducted a phase-2 study of 59 patients with solid tumors who were scheduled to receive chemotherapy with moderate to high emetic risk. Patients were randomly assigned to received standard of care (Group A) or standard of care plus additive massage therapy with electric massage chair in their first cycle of chemotherapy (Group B). Patients were then crossed over in the next cycle.

The Rhodes Index of Nausea, Vomiting and Retching (INVR) scale was used to measure nausea/vomiting. The INVR score at the first cycle was 2.76 for the standard of care group compared with 3.63 in the group receiving massage.

The majority of patients (86.2%) in Group A had complete response after cycle 1 day 2 while 73.3% of patients in Group B achieved complete response. After considering additive premedication, such as aprepitant for moderate emetic risk according to individual patients’ condition, the complete response rate in Group A was 85.0% and 72.0% in group B at cycle 1 day 2. There was no statistically significant difference between groups, the researchers wrote.

A quality-of-life measurement showed improvement after the use of electric massage chair in both groups, regardless of the cycle of chemotherapy. Group B, who received massage chair therapy at the first cycle, showed a significant increase in the quality of life scale compared with Group A (P=.0108).

The researchers conducted a subgroup analysis in patients with high-risk and found that those who received a high emetic chemotherapy, patients with younger age, and those with non-colorectal cancer had significantly improved CINV scores with the addition of massage chair therapy.



ESMO Congress 2022 – The Effect of Electric Massage Chair on Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Cancer Patients