"Although our research is at an early stage and we need to do more studies, the idea is that it will be possible to test sensitivity and prevent extremely sensitive patients from having serious side effects," says Sherin Mathew, a doctoral graduate at the Institute of Biomedicine.
All cancer patients are given roughly the same doses of radiation and chemotherapy, despite the major variation in sensitivity. The extent of the side effects varies from person to person, but at present there are no ways of knowing how each person will be affected.
Result - Discomfort - Others - Patients - Side
As a result, some will experience discomfort, while others will suffer much more. The most sensitive patients may experience such severe side effects that they die because of the treatment.
Blood samples may, however, help to identify the most sensitive patients before their treatment begins, which will mean that their dose can be adjusted. While working on her thesis, Sherin Mathew contributed to the development of methods that could be used to establish which patients fall into the "extremely sensitive" category, using lymphocytes from...
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