Doctors have discovered a way of identifying breast cancer patients likely to suffer life-threatening side effects from chemotherapy, the Daily Mail reported Friday. Their research could eventually lead to safer treatments adapted to individual patients. The study of almost 1,100 breast cancer patients found 17 percent needed hospital care for potentially fatal infections after treatment with three widely used chemotherapy drugs. But it also found 15 percent of women in the study had a gene variant linked to the worst side effects.
The findings were expected to be released at the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna Friday. Lead researcher Christof Vulsteke, of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, hailed the study as an important step towards a safer, more personalised drug regime for patients, according to the Mail.