Correkt-Chemo – Personalize your Chemotherapy


Cancer is a name given to a collection of related diseases. Cancer can start any place in the body, starting with cells growing out of control and crowding out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Cancerous tumors are malignant and they invade nearby tissues, travel to distant places in the body through the blood, forming new tumors far from the original tumors. Cancer can be treated very well for many people and can help them lead full lives.

Various therapies use medicines or drugs to treat cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area, but chemotherapy can work throughout the whole body. Chemotherapy can kill cancer cells that have metastasized or spread to parts of the body far away from the primary (original) tumor. Multiple drugs with different actions can work together to kill more cancer cells. This can also reduce the chance that the cancer may become resistant to any one chemo drug.

Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, routinely patient receives the “conventional / standard” chemotherapy regimens. These regimens are common to all patients with that particular cancer type. Such “one size fits all” approach is one of the most important reasons of treatment failure and cancer recurrence. To avoid such “trial and error” approach and to save the precious time, Correkt-chemo is a must for a successful cancer therapy management.

  • What is Correkt-chemo?

It is the only test available that identifies directly, the most effective chemotherapy drugs that can kill cancer cells. In this test, live tumor cells obtained from fresh biopsy are treated with different chemotherapy drugs and their combinations.  The effect of these drugs is studied in real time to analyze the direct efficacy of each cancer drug to kill the cancer cells. This allows oncologists to personalize and improve the treatment by selecting the best suitable drugs before starting chemotherapy.

  • How is Correkt-chemo helpful?

Not all drugs work the same on all patients. Some drugs may not prove beneficial and waste valuable time and resources at this critical point in treatment. With Correkt-chemo test, there is a way to know how effective the chemotherapy will be, before the start of treatment. It will help your oncologist choose the best chemotherapy regimen from the NCCN approved list. Correkt-chemo test directly measures the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs on your live tumor cells and provides a personalized efficacy profile of individual chemotherapy drugs. Thus instead of speculating about how effective chemotherapy will be by costly trial and error, we get that information well before beginning the therapy. It helps to identify at an early stage whether the treatment is likely to work or not and to spare patient’s the unnecessary toxicity of ineffective drugs. It helps to provide patient with the right treatment for the right target without delay.

Knowing the right chemotherapy from the very beginning is the best option. As fresh tumor sample is required, the test can be performed and results can be provided to you and your physician to aid in the determination of the best drugs for you, and you can ensure that you receive the most effective chemotherapy from all available options.

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chemotherapy

Correkt-chemo – Test For the Precise Treatment


Once the cancer has been diagnosed, the patient routinely has to go for conventional

chemotherapy regimen. However, these chemo sessions are common to all patients with

that specific cancer type. This uniform approach to the treatment is one of the most

important reasons of treatment fatalities, deaths, and cancer recurrence. ‘One size fits all’

proves harmful in this case.

Cancer has unique properties and differs in every patient and hence every patient responds

in a very different manner to the same chemotherapy. Thus, a few patients undergo

remission whereas few have cancer progression even after receiving cancer treatment. It is

harmful because this cancer progression or failure of treatment becomes evident after

many days of receiving the chemotherapy and after suffering all the side effects of the

chemotherapy.

 

Time & Money

Trial & error approach proves very hazardous in this case the time is very precious for

successful cancer management and this precious time is lost with the conventional method.

At the same time, precious financial resources are wasted in drugs with no benefits and

give harsh side effects. Hence it is very beneficial for the patient and the treating physician,

if it is already known which drugs will give maximum benefit in that individual patient’s

tumor.

 

Why Correkt-chemo?

Correkt-chemo directly tests the effect of chemotherapy / anti- cancer drugs on the

patient’s tumor cells. It helps to customize the treatment plan according to sensitivity and

resistance pattern of the patient’s tumor cells. When armed with this information, patient’s

physician can ensure that they receive the most effective chemotherapy from all available

options. This personalization of the chemotherapy by directly studying effect of

chemotherapy drugs on cells taken from fresh biopsy sample of the tumor – is the Correkt-

chemo test. In this test, fresh tumor cells obtained by biopsy / surgery are treated with

different chemotherapy drugs. The effect of drug is measured directly by its ability to kill

the tumor cells. Consequent upon this information, the drugs are listed in their order of

comparative efficacy to kill the tumor cells.

 

Who should undergo this test?

  • Every cancer patient with or without metastasis, before starting cancer treatment.
  • Every patient who is under treatment for cancer.
  • Every patient in whom the cancer is not responding satisfactorily to therapy.

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Neurology and pharmacogenetics

Pharmacogenetic analysis for Neurology/Psychiatry


Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) is one of the most common causes of deaths worldwide. It also causes 50 deaths out of 1000 patients in India. These statistics highlight the importance of correct drugs for the treatment. This is where Pharmacogenetics plays an important role.

What is pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics is the study of inherited genetic differences in drug metabolism which can affect individual responses to drugs, both in terms of therapeutic effect as well as adverse effects.

Why pharmacogenetics?

In a last few years, importance of pharmacogenetics has increased tremendously in medical practice. This testing particularly benefits psychiatric patients as the drugs and medications suggested in the treatments can lead to variety of side-effects. The use of pharmacogenetic screening can help the expert to design psychotropic treatments and make informed decisions which prove to be very useful most of the times.

Many cases and studies have been published in recent times which prove the positive results in the patients. Along with the better outcome, genetic testing also helps to decrease the medical costs. Recently, many studies have been published demonstrating improved patient outcomes and decreased healthcare costs for psychiatric patients who utilize genetic testing.

The very first genotyping test used in psychiatry was Roche’s AmpliChip CYP450 test. It received clearance from FDA in December 2004.

The risk of adverse drug reaction is more in children and adolescents who have metabolic disorders as their system finds it hard to break down the new elements in it.

Pharmacogenetics is important in neurology / psychiatrics because –

  • It gives an insight of patient’s metabolic response
  • Prescribes surer, safer and targeted drug therapy
  • Promotes avoidance of Over-dose/ Under-dose
  • Minimizes Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)
  • Eliminates trial and error in therapy
  • Offers optimum therapeutic response
  • It’s an affordable and once in a life-time test
  • It protects doctor from medico-legal complications

It is a common belief that high-end medical tests only prescribe equally high-end and expensive treatments. However, it is not the case; pharmacogenetic screening identifies the most effective course of conventional treatments and also suggests equally effective alternate options.

The widespread application and utility of pharmacogenetics in neurology/ psychiatry will only keep increasing along with its knowledge and understanding. With continuous research, it is very vital that medications and drugs will get more narrowed down on the basis of their effectiveness to the patients.

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Chemotherapy – Not everything you know about it is true!


Battling cancer is a very scary experience- for patients as well as their family members. Many tests, multiple opinions, various course of treatments and so on. There are many options available but lack of knowledge leads to confusion and eventually, threat about the treatments. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. However, there are still many patients and their near ones are reluctant to go for it because of many misconceptions. Here are some of the common chemotherapy myths busted.

  1. I must be critically ill if doctor has suggested chemotherapy.

That would have been true a few decades back when it could mean a very poor health condition. However, nowadays chemo is suggested as a supplementary treatment and given after a primary treatment e.g. surgery or a radiation therapy. It is usually suggested to prevent cancer recurrence.

  1. Chemo is a very hectic process.

Nowadays chemo drugs are given through various ways depending on the patients’ need and the condition. Most of the times, the drugs are given through a needle or a catheter. But it can also be given in a liquid or pill form which you can take at home.

  1. Everybody loses their hair.

This is one of the biggest fears anyone has while going through a chemo. However, it’s not really true. With latest chemo drugs, losing hair is becoming uncommon.  Hair loss happens due to the damaged hair follicles which, most of the time is a side effect of the chemo drugs. However, new medications are developed in a way to minimize this effect.

credits- thespiritscience.net/
credits- thespiritscience.net/
4. Chemotherapy only kills cancer cells.

In medical terms, chemotherapy is often referred as cytotoxic (cell-killing) treatment. These drugs are devised to hamper the growth of the cells by attacking their DNA that fosters their growth. However, these drugs also attack the cells which grow in irregular manner, which are not always cancer cells. Thus side effects are seen.

 5. Chemotherapy is same for all.

Chemotherapy is becoming more customized according to the patient’s needs. It is not a standard treatment. There are varieties of therapies used in combination with other medications. It is not a similar treatment for one and all. E.g. two men with lung cancer might not receive the same treatment.

6. Chemo causes high-level of nausea.

Earlier, it was very common amongst patients undergoing chemotherapy to experience nausea. It was one of the major side effects earlier. However, with new anti-nausea drugs like Zofron & Kytril, the symptoms are effectively controlled. It even allows patients to go home after the treatment unlike the earlier days when recovery time was needed.  It is recommended that patients should take meals at short intervals rather than traditional ‘three meals a day’ option

7. Chemotherapy is very painful.

Earlier, it was true. But chemotherapy drugs are so advanced now that there are very negligible or very less side effects- but pain is not the one of those. Nowadays it’s a rare case that patient is admitted to hospital for overnight stay after the treatment.

8. If I’m not sick, the chemo must not be working.

It is the mindset of some patients that if any treatment is not hurting/ causing pain to them; it is not effective. Not just chemo, but otherwise too. However, it is not true. Some people experience side effects of the therapy while others don’t. But lack of side effects does not mean that the treatment is not working.

credits- blogs.sheknows.com
credits- blogs.sheknows.com
9. I won’t be able to have children after chemotherapy.

Chemo can cause a huge effect on pregnancy and it is indeed a complicated decision whether to or not to conceive while receiving chemo. It can cause complications. It is not true that conceiving during chemotherapy is not possible. However, it is strongly recommended that you talk to your specialist about the options before starting the treatment.

10. Chemotherapy makes patient toxic.

The medications used in chemo are indeed very powerful and can prove toxic if not administered correctly. But that does not mean that it makes you toxic. Many people, out of ignorance think that the person undergoing chemo should use different rooms and toilets. That is not true. Chemo does not make patient untouchable.

It is always great to be well-informed. Especially when it concerns ours and our loved ones’ health.

 

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Cardio diabetics and Pharmacogenetics


On 2nd July 2008, David Belk, 50, director of a construction firm died of brain hemorrhage. He headed the ball during a veterans’ soccer match. Doctor said that even if he would have been taken to the hospital immediately, he wouldn’t have been saved! So what lead to his death? Mr. Belk, father of two, had a heart pacemaker fitted ten years earlier and was on oral warfarin for anticoagulation which can lead to weakening of blood vessels in the head.
Excessive anticoagulation could have been avoided by Pharmacogenetic tests.

From the above case, you must have realized how important is it to know that which drugs suit our genetic makeup and which don’t.

When we tend to get a common cold or fever, more often than not, we take some medicines on our own without any clinical supervision. Very little do we know how harmful this practice is. Recently, genetic studies have discovered that medicines don’t always work the same way for everyone and could even be fatal to some.

The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission expressly recognizes that genetic make-up of an individual can impact drug metabolism by as much as 6 to 8 fold and therefore can cause life threatening side effects.

A part of it is genetics and through pharmacogenetics one can learn how you respond to certain medications. The results range from whether the drugs are beneficial, need a different dose due to sensitivity and adverse effects, or even have increased risk for other conditions.

Image credits- ultrasoundschoolsinfo.com
Image credits- ultrasoundschoolsinfo.com

Pharmacogenetics provides personalized drug therapy depending on your genetic makeup, thus maximizing the chances of getting the proper treatment and limiting adverse effects of drugs.

Cardio Diabetics

If you or anyone you know is undergoing a treatment for any cardiovascular disease, it’s advisable to take help of pharmacogenetics. It can help to take well-informed course of treatment for the cardiovascular cases.

This case study will help you to see how pharamacogenetics tests helped a cardiovascular patient.

A 45-year-old man was diagnosed with acute inferior myocardial infarction and underwent emergent coronary angiography (CAG). Two bare-metal stents were deployed in the right coronary artery. After the procedure, antiplatelet therapy with 75 mg Clopidogrel daily was given. However, stent thrombosis occurred three times and he underwent repeat interventions. To investigate the cause of repeated stent thrombosis, the platelet function was measured. The result showed that he did not achieve an adequate antiplatelet effect.

Know the right medications for you!

  1. Get a genetic test to determine your metabolic status. It’s important to be aware of the type of metabolizer you are for each cytochrome P450 enzyme. GeneshieldTM Cardio-Diabetic test at Datar Genetics Limited would help you and your clinician to alter you present medications or dosage. This test has turnaround time of 2 weeks and needs 4ml whole blood/saliva.
  2. Review your results. Know which drug is most effective for you and which wouldn’t have any adverse drug reaction (ADR) on you.

Your result will look like this

Share the information with your doctor and ask them to make changes accordingly in your prescription.

This test also helps you take control of your overall cost of medication by identifying the right medicine for you, from the beginning of the treatment. So talk to your doctor today.

 

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