Waiting to exhale

12:58pm, November 5, 2002

A simple breath test can help identify patients most likely to suffer severe side effects of chemotherapy with docetaxel, one of the most widely used anticancer drugs. This is a result of a small study published in the April Clinical Cancer Research.

The new test measures the activity of an enzyme known as cytochrome p450 3A4 (CYP 3A4), which breaks down, or metabolizes, docetaxel and many other drugs, says Paul B. Watkins of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

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