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Chemotherapy Drugs Affect Men And Women Differently

Understanding these drugs better could lead to more precise treatments with better outcomes and less side-effects.  Learn more!
We may be a step closer to individualizing cancer treatments. A new study finds men and women undergoing chemo for leukemia metabolize the drugs differently. This understanding could lead to more precise treatments with better outcomes and less side-effects. Dr. Yogen Saunthararajah treats cancer patients at Cleveland Clinic and led the study.

Dr. Saunthararajah said, "If somebody metabolizes a drug too fast, then the levels of the drug may fall below minimum thresholds required for therapeutic effect for the beneficial effect. So, that's really what we were examining. We were examining the inter-individual effects on the way a drug is handled."

Dr. Saunthararajah and his team of researchers compared the effects of two drugs on 90 leukemia patients. Results show men and women metabolize the drugs very differently, so much so that it impacted how the drugs benefited the patient. The next step is to get funding for clinical trials because the goal is to individualize cancer treatments because they're not "one size fits all."

"Cancer treatments are changing. We are now in an era where we are trying to drive towards medicines which are a little bit more elegant. They're targeted at particular molecules," says Dr. Saunthararajah.

Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Clinical Cancer Research."
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