Genes influence cancer treatment outcomes

New York, Sep 13 (IANS) A person’s response to anti-cancer drug treatments is strongly related to his or her genetic ancestry, says new research.

The findings suggest that the same medicine can affect people from different ethnicities differently.

“Based on the cell lines of hundreds of individuals, our research suggests that the genetic ancestry of a person is strongly related to a person’s response to anticancer drug treatment,” said lead study author John Jack, research scientist at North Carolina State University in the US.

The researchers examined the role of ethnicity in drug potency and efficacy for 28 chemotherapeutic compounds in 589 patients.

Patients self-reported their ethnicity as Hispanic or non-Hispanic/Caucasian.

Hispanic and Caucasian samples exhibited unique results, indicating a complex relationship between genome and drug response and treatment outcomes, the study said.

Notable associations were found for the drug temozolomide which is used to treat brain tumours.

Other drugs with results that suggest an association include etoposide and mitomycin, the team noted.

“The developing field of ‘personalised’ or ‘precision medicine’ will leverage these types of data to help inform a doctor’s decision on selecting the optimal drug and dose for each patient,” Jack said.

The study was published in the journal Pharmacogenomics.

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