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Serious side effects for 10% of patients

Capecitabine, an oral form of 5-fluorouracil, is used in New Zealand for the treatment of bowel cancer. For many patients, this treatment gives great therapeutic benefit but in 10% of cases, capecitabine gives a patient serious diarrhoea, which interrupts treatment, and in extreme cases, can be fatal.

Genetic test to identify patients at greatest risk

We aim to develop a genetic test to enable clinicians to identify the patients at greatest risk of severe side-effects to be identified before treatment. We can use this to identify patients who should be offered an alternative treatment such as having their drug dose decreased or have their treatment delivered as an in-patient.

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