Chemotherapy agents act on cancer cells, which are derived from healthy cells and share the same metabolic and functional processes. This means that drugs that act on cancer cells will also affect all other cells of the human body to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, chemotherapy treatments also affect the rest of the body to varying degrees of severity. This is known as the toxic or side effects of the drug. In the vast majority of cases, the effects are cytotoxic, that is, the toxic effects of the drug on healthy cells.
The cells most affected by the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy are those cells that divide very actively, such as cells found in hair follicles, bone marrow, the digestive tract and the reproductive system.
The toxicity associated with chemotherapy treatment is a very important aspect, particularly given its negative impact on patient quality of life and the fact that it can be life-threatening in certain circumstances.
It is possible to prevent the side effects associated with each type of chemotherapy drug by studying the genetic profile of each patient, which offers extremely valuable information enabling us to predict response to treatment and toxicity. This in turn enables the specialist to better control the patient’s symptoms and to substantially improve the patient’s quality of life.
ICM boasts three liquid biopsy panels applied to lung cancer, colon cancer, and a global panel that includes more than 500 genes. Contact us.