Safer, Less Toxic Cancer Therapy
Cancer therapies for children are more effective than ever before. Today, approximately 80 per cent of children survive cancer treatments. However, most survivors experience serious treatment-related toxicities that compromise their quality of life. Dr. Amit Bhavsar, Canada Research Chair in Functional Genomic Medicine, is working to make cancer therapies safer and less toxic.
The body’s pathways govern how anti-cancer drugs are taken in, distributed, processed and disposed of. Pathways can be influenced by the subtle genetic differences between people; these differences can radically affect the safety of anti-cancer drug therapy for different patients.
Bhavsar and his research team are studying specific genes to uncover new pathways involved in toxic responses to anti-cancer drugs. Developing therapies to target these genes will help prevent anti-cancer drug toxicity. Similarly, examining subtle gene differences can provide an opportunity to better estimate toxicity risk by including the patients’ own genetic information.
By better understanding how genetic differences affect drug-related pathways, Bhavsar’s research will provide the knowledge to help better predict individual toxicity risk and develop treatments to prevent that toxicity.