Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Personalised cancer treatment can help reduce side effects of chemo: study

SINGAPORE: A new study has shown that a more personalised cancer treatment regimen can help to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

The large scale study involving Singapore and Malaysia recruited 556 children under 18 years old for a period of six years (2003-2009).

The aim was to lessen the side effects from Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) which is the cancer of the blood and bone marrow.



The side effects of chemotherapy as a cancer treatment are damage to organs like the heart, skin and brain, which may lead to long-term complications.

The new regimen started off with three drugs compared to the conventional four - and then measured patients' response to it.

Results showed that about 87 per cent of patients only needed a significantly lower dose of chemotherapy and could avoid further toxic therapy.

Principal investigator of the study, Associate Professor Allen Yeo, said: "Doctors should move away from being too worried that more is better. It is really finding the correct optimal therapy for every child which is more critical because you can cure without the huge side effects and burdens that we see currently."

View the original article here

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