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Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2007 Sep;5(9):698-706.

Translation of pharmacogenetic knowledge into cancer therapeutics.

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  • 1Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Hospital, Singapore 119074.


The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended changes in the labeling for 6-mercaptopurine, irinotecan, and, most recently, tamoxifen to include pharmacogenetic information on treatment outcome. With the increased availability of pharmacogenetic testing, oncologists are now able to identify individuals at risk for severe treatment toxicity or poor treatment response. However, there are knowledge gaps to fill before rationalized therapy based on pharmacogenetics can be fully integrated into clinical practice. This review gives an overview of pharmacogenetic methods and focuses on the application of pharmacogenetic knowledge in oncology, using the examples of 6-mercaptopurine, irinotecan, tamoxifen, and gefitinib.

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