Better dosing though finger prick technology

May 21 2020

Finger prick technology will bring personalised cancer treatment to patients’ front door

In 2018 Professor Jennifer Martin received $1.96 million in Cancer Council NSW research funding to develop a personalised chemotherapy dosing system for cancer patients to improve quality of life, reduce side effects and increase chance of survival.

Since then the team have been working hard to test and validate the current systems and new technologies that could be used in real time to find the ideal dose and blood level to improve their outcomes, under the personalised chemotherapy dosing study (PREDICT Program).

“Based on best available evidence, current chemotherapy dosing is imprecise and not personalised. It is estimated that 20-30% of patients receiving chemotherapy will receive a dose that is too high for them, and 20-30% will receive a dose lower than what is needed for optimal effectiveness,” Professor Martin said.

“In addition to finding the best dose for patients, another challenge is to ensure all cancer patients have access to this personalised chemotherapy treatment, especially those in rural and remote areas.”

“To solve this problem, we are developing a simple at home finger prick test that will enable patients to collect and send their blood samples to be analysed at frequent intervals. These results would give their oncologists important information to ensure they are receiving the optimal dose,” Professor Martin said.

With a number of NSW oncologists and hospitals keen to be involved, the study will soon be inviting patients via their clinician to be involved.

Professor Martin’s study is at the forefront of personalised chemotherapy dosing research and will change the way oncologist monitor their patients’ treatment.

“Support from Cancer Council NSW allows this important research to continue and I am grateful to the donors for providing support. Their important contribution towards exploring the feasibility on the patient experience of a useable, everyday clinical tool, may help to expand the finger prick testing into everyday practice,” Professor Martin said.

Find out more about the project here