Patients in England with some cancers will be offered a new test, which aims to tailor treatments to their genetics and avoid toxic side-effects. The blood test detects whether they are genetically prone to experiencing the more serious effects of chemotherapy drugs.
This test will be administered to patients receiving three drugs: 5-fluorouracil, capecitabine or tegafur. While they are not generally used for haematological cancer or transplant conditioning genomic tests along these lines are likely to improve how we give patient specific treatments for those who need stem cell transplants in the future.
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan says: 'This is a promising and exciting turning point for patients who receive chemotherapy as part of their treatment for cancer. The gruelling side effects of chemotherapy can be devastating for patients and anything we can do to identify those who may be more susceptible, is positive.
‘These findings offer fascinating insight. We look forward with hope that this, or similar tests, can soon be used for chemotherapy regimens used to treat blood cancer patients and for conditioning therapy pre-transplant.’
For information and support about stem cell transplants, please visit anthonynolan.org/patients