Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Martin Kavaliers

Joint Supervisor


Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is one of the most distressing events that affects the quality of life of cancer patients. Evidence suggests that females are more susceptible to CINV than males, but the mechanism remains unknown. The current thesis examined whether higher levels of circulating estrogens in females contributes to this sex difference. CINV was analyzed in a pediatric oncology population, where it was revealed female patients demonstrate increased delayed CINV relative to male patients, in the post-pubertal age group. CINV was also studied by examining the influence of the estrous cycle on anticipatory nausea (AN) in rats. This study showed that rats in proestrus demonstrate increased AN relative to rats in diestrus. These results imply that females’ greater likelihood to experience CINV may be partly due to their higher levels of circulating estrogens. Uncovering this mechanism will ultimately help to alleviate the burden of CINV on cancer patients.