The future of chemotherapy

14 September 2018 | Website Administrator

Jennifer is changing chemotherapy as we know it

Professor Jennifer Martin Personalised chemotherapy dosing can improve patient outcomes. You play an important part in creating a cancer free future. This year, with your help, more than $10 million has been awarded to 17 new outstanding research projects, investigating new ways to treat cancer.

One of the recipients is Professor Jennifer Martin and her team, who are looking at how to improve the way chemotherapy is delivered.

Chemotherapy drugs are one of the most common ways to treat cancer. However some patients receiving chemotherapy will receive a dose that is too high for them or a dose that is lower than what is needed for optimal effectiveness.

Currently, chemotherapy doses are based on a fixed amount for every patient or an amount based on the patient’s body size. But this approach doesn’t work for everybody.

Patients who receive a higher dose than is optimal for them may experience more severe side effects, which means they are often unwilling to continue with treatment.

For patients who receive a lower than optimal chemotherapy dosing, the consequences may be inadequate tumour control, with worse quality of life, earlier relapse and lower survival.

“Finding the right treatment solution for patients with cancer is only part of the puzzle we need to solve. The other key piece to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, is to provide patients with optimal chemotherapy dosing”, Professor Martin tells us.

“My team is finding a way to personalise chemotherapy doses to achieve better results for patients.”

New technologies will be used to monitor the concentration of chemotherapy in patients’ blood in real-time. By monitoring chemotherapy levels early in treatment, clinicians will be able to adjust doses to achieve the ideal concentration. This will mean fewer side effects and greater tumour control for each patient.

By developing new ways to effectively monitor chemotherapy levels, this research will lead to direct and significant benefits for patients including improved quality of life, fewer side effects and increased chance of survival.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your generous support. We want to give patients the best chance at a cancer free future by using chemotherapy more effectively, however, this is only a dream without the generosity of Cancer Council’s supporters. You make this dream a reality.”