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Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

DPD deficiency test

Jan 18, 2021

Pre treatment test for those due to receive Fluoropyrimidine- based chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil, capecitabine and tegafur)

NHS Patients to be offered a rapid DPD deficiency test to help decide whether to go ahead with treatment, opt for a lower dose or use a different method of tackling tumours.

While most patients undergoing chemotherapy do not suffer severe side effects a small number taking certain drugs called fluoropyrimidines (5-FU and capecitabine) can suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathlessness and severe skin reactions and, in rare cases, the reaction can be life-threatening.

The blood test detects a particular form of a gene which means that someone is less able to break down chemotherapy drugs in their body.

As many as 40% of those who get tested are expected to benefit from starting on a lower dose or have a different treatment altogether.

You can read the Clinical Commissioning Urgent Policy Statement published November 2020 – here.