By tailoring the dosage of chemotherapy to each individual patient, the treatment of breast cancer could be improved considerably. This is shown in a dissertation by Uppsala researcher Henrik Lindman at Uppsala University in Sweden. The method has proven to yield excellent results in clinical tests.
The dissertation reports that an alternative way of tailoring the dosage of chemotherapy has been studied and found to work. If the advantages of this method compared to standard treatment can be verified in the follow-up study that has just been completed on more than 1,500 patients in Sweden and Denmark, we may be facing a more extensive change in the treatment of cancer, one that reaches far beyond the sphere of breast cancer. One clear advantage of the method, apart from fewer side-effects and less risk of under-dosage, is that it should provide a way of determining the value of new chemotherapies, since it is probable that tailored dosages will prevent improper dosage regimens to a greater extent than previously.
In treating cancer, the dosage of chemotherapy is normally determined on the basis of the body surface area of the patient, which factors in height and weight. This method has proven to be insufficient when it comes to differences among patients in the amount of chemotherapy in the blood. Some patients receive overdoses with severe side-effects as a result, while others receive under-dosed regimens that risk leaving the tumor insufficiently treated.
Anneli Waara | alfa
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