Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 29 March 2024

Hundreds Die Every Year From Chemotherapy Overdoses Because Doctors Don’t Order Simple Gene Test

Hundreds of cancer patients every year die excruciating deaths from overdoses of common chemotherapy drugs because doctors rarely order a simple gene test — required by European health agencies but not the FDA — that could identify those at risk.

By Arthur Allen

One January morning in 2021, Carol Rosen took a standard treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Three gruesome weeks later, she died in excruciating pain from the very drug meant to prolong her life.

Rosen, a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher, passed her final days in anguish, enduring severe diarrhea and nausea and terrible sores in her mouth that kept her from eating, drinking and eventually speaking. Skin peeled off her body. Her kidneys and liver failed.

“Your body burns from the inside out,” said Rosen’s daughter, Lindsay Murray, of Andover, Massachusetts.

Rosen was one of more than 275,000 cancer patients in the U.S. who are infused each year with fluorouracil, known as 5-FU, or, as in Rosen’s case, take a nearly identical drug in pill form called capecitabine.

These common types of chemotherapy are no picnic for anyone, but for patients who are deficient in an enzyme that metabolizes the drugs, they can be torturous or deadly.

Those patients essentially overdose because the drugs stay in the body for hours rather than being quickly metabolized and excreted.

The drugs kill an estimated 1 in 1,000 patients who take them — hundreds each year — and severely sicken or hospitalize 1 in 50.

Doctors can test for the deficiency and get results within a week — and then either switch drugs or lower the dosage if patients have a genetic variant that carries risk.

Yet a recent survey found that only 3% of U.S. oncologists routinely order the tests before dosing patients with 5-FU or capecitabine.

That’s because the most widely followed U.S. cancer treatment guidelines — issued by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network — don’t recommend preemptive testing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added new warnings about the lethal risks of 5-FU to the drug’s label on March 21 following queries from KFF Health News about its policy. However, it did not require doctors to administer the test before prescribing the chemotherapy.

The agency, whose plan to expand its oversight of laboratory testing was the subject of a U.S. House of Representatives hearing, also on March 21, has said it could not endorse the 5-FU toxicity tests because it’s never reviewed them.

But the FDA at present does not review most diagnostic tests, said Daniel Hertz, an associate professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

For years, with other doctors and pharmacists, he has petitioned the FDA to put a black box warning on the drug’s label urging prescribers to test for the deficiency.

“FDA has responsibility to assure that drugs are used safely and effectively,” he said.

The failure to warn, he said, “is an abdication of their responsibility.”

The update is “a small step in the right direction, but not the sea change we need,” he said.

Read More: Hundreds Die Every Year From Chemotherapy Overdoses Because Doctors Don’t Order Simple Gene Test

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