Different treatment efficacies and side effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy
Differences in efficacy and toxicity between Asian and Caucasian patients with lung cancer treated with systemic chemotherapy is increasingly recognised. This is a major concern in the clinical setting as it influences outcomes and affect international harmonization of drug development. Interindividual variability of pharmacokinetics, where different genetic polymorphisms affect drug metabolism, transport, and receptor binding may account for the ethnic differences. Treatment efficacy and outcomes may also be explained by differences in diet and lifestyle, access to healthcare, cultural barriers and environmental exposure. Efforts made to design prospective studies investigating ethnic specific determinants to systemic therapy and individualise lung cancer treatment based on genetic makeup of patient are important.