Study Questions FDA Genetic-screening Guidelines for Cancer Drug
Not everyone needs a genetic test before taking the cancer drug irinotecan, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should modify its prescription guidelines to say so, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Irinotecan, also known by its brand name Camptosar, is used mainly as a second-line treatment for colorectal cancer. The FDA recommends screening patients for a gene that could make them more susceptible to the harmful side effects of the drug, the most worrisome of which is neutropenia, an abnormally low number of white blood cells.
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