Genetic factors could alter drug metabolism and activity and could predict drug toxicity and/or efficacy. Several chemotherapy agents are administered in different schedules for the treatment of different cancer histotypes. The most used drug in the treatment of gastro-intestinal, head and neck and breast neoplasms is the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Capecitabine is a prodrug of 5-FU. Cisplatin based chemotherapy is administered in the treatment of lung, genitourinary tract, head and neck, occult neoplasms, mesothelioma and melanoma. Taxanes are used in lung, breast, head and neck, genitourinary tract neoplasms and sarcomas. Determination of polymorphisms in metabolizing enzymes before the administration of chemotherapy could offer new strategies for optimizing the treatment of individual patients.
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