April 21, 2016
(Medical News Today) – A small minority of patients treated with a common chemotherapy drug develop severe heart damage, but there is currently no way of identifying in advance who they might be. Now, researchers have developed a method using reprogrammed stem cells derived from the patient’s own skin cells that predicts whether they fall into this group. The chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (brand name Adriamycin) is very effective against a wide range of cancers – including breast cancer and childhood leukemia. But in around 8% of patients, it causes cardiotoxicity, where the heart muscles become damaged, and in severe cases, leads to heart failure.
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