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Just the Right Dose at Flinders Medical School

Posted in: Flinders Medical School, Flinders Speech Pathology Program, Flinders University, News, Webinar
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When two patients are given the exact same dose of medication, their reaction to the drug – including how well it works and what side-effects it has – largely depends on the person.

Now, scientists from Flinders University are teaming up with clinicians from Flinders Medical Centre in an attempt to make a class of cancer drugs more effective by allowing patients to receive the dose that is best for them.

Funded by a $75,000 grant from biomedical research charity the Ramaciotti Foundation, the team will use a computer modelling technique to measure the amount of drugs in a person’s blood, then tailor the dose depending on individual needs.

The two-year study will investigate a class of new and rapidly expanding anticancer drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which are used to treat cancers that are unresponsive to chemotherapy such as renal, liver and some lung cancers. As the individual response varies considerably – from having little uptake to severe side-effects – these drugs are best given at a specific dose to have an optimum effect, unlike other cancer drugs which are prescribed at a fixed dose because they produce relatively similar results.

Flinders Dr-Andrew-RowlandChief Investigator Dr Andrew Rowland, a lecturer from the University’s Discipline of Clinical Pharmacology and the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, said most TKIs were prescribed at a fixed dose. “At the moment everyone gets the same dose but because every reaction is different, some people take longer to expel the drug which means they get more side-effects than someone who metabolises the drug too quickly, in which case the drug might not work at all,” Dr Rowland said. “All anticancer drugs have bad effects in the body so if we can tailor doses we will minimise toxicity and generally improve patient outcomes.

“This project is also a great example of the new Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer bringing together pharmacologists from the University and clinicians from the hospital to address an age-old problem.”

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Don’t forget to tune into Flinders University free webinar:

Flinders University webinar – Wednesday 25 September 2013 @ 7pm (Ontario)

Hotsed by Daniel Mather, Flinders International in Adelaide, Australia.  Check out this webinar to learn more about studying in Australia at Flinders university and it’s programs, including Health Science programs such as Flinders Medical School, Speech Pathology and Nutrition & Dietetic programs.

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