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Irinotecan is a cytostatic – a drug that inhibits cell growth and cell division. It also suppresses the function of the immune system to reduce the occurrence of inflammation (immunosuppressant). Irinotecan is a topoisomerase inhibitor. Irinotecan is prescribed to treat cancer of the large intestine and rectum, if the cancer has reached an advanced stage. It is also used to treat lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Irinotecan and the benefit of DNA analysis

The rate at which irinotecan is processed within your body varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of irinotecan can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.

Irinotecan and the enzyme UGT1A1

Irinotecan is processed to a large extent by the enzyme UGT1A1. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of irinotecan can also differ from person to person.

Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with irinotecan.

Read more about UGT1A1 enzyme »

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