CZE uses DNA test to determine suitable chemotherapy

Eindhoven’s Catharina Hospital (CZE), increasingly uses a DNA test to determine which chemotherapy will best help cancer patients.

The hospital is very satisfied with this new approach and its results. This approach increases the chance of successfully combating tumors. A DNA test does not just help determine which treatment is best for a patient. It also helps tailor medications.

Metabolism crucial

CZE’s molecular biologist Birgit Deiman explains: “A patient’s metabolism determines how successful a prescribed therapy will be. Each patient has a different metabolism and therefore reacts differently to medicines. Some patients experience many side effects of a treatment. In other cases, medication may turn out to be ineffective.”

Using a tube of blood or saliva, a laboratory creates a DNA passport. This is used as the basis to determine how a patient’s body may react to various medications. Deiman adds: “This enables a specialist to determine which personalized therapy may work best.”

The hospital uses the DNA passport for cancer patients and psychiatric patients. The new technique is mainly used for patients receiving chemotherapy as a result of intestinal or breast cancer.

Psychiatric patients often take multiple medicines. “In these cases, it is also good to know which combination of medicines suits a patient best,” states Deiman.

Only medical specialist or general practitioners can request the DNA test and only if there is a specific medical need. The DNA passport may for instance be demanded when a patient may experience serious side effects, or if medicines prove to be ineffective.

Source: Studio 040

Translator: Kate

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