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29-05-2018 | Colorectal cancer | News

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Sex differences highlighted for CRC chemotherapy-related toxicity

medwireNews: Women have an increased risk for adverse events associated with fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for colorectal cancer (CRC), suggests an analysis of the PETACC-3 trial.

In the phase III trial – which investigated the addition of irinotecan to fluorouracil plus leucovorin – the incidence of any-grade or grade 3 or 4 alopecia, stomatitis, diarrhea, nausea, leukopenia, neutropenia, and anemia was significantly higher among female participants (n=1318; 44.3%) than their male counterparts (n=1656; 55.7%) when the study arms were pooled.

Women were also significantly more likely to experience any-grade constipation, vomiting, cramping, cholinergic syndrome, and lethargy, report Anna Wagner, from University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues.

They write in JAMA Oncology: “In an age of personalized medicine, and also considering [the] growing knowledge about sex-related differences in molecular profiles and disease biology, the potential effect of sex on efficacy and toxic effects of systemic treatments in oncology deserves more awareness and further investigation.

“Drug targets, but also the optimal dose necessary to hit a target with an acceptable level of toxic effects, may be different between men and women.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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