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Blood test uses human stem cells to predict severe drug reactions

Blood test uses human stem cells to predict severe drug reactions

"Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials."

Let's hope that this is one invention that proves effective in saving lives in drug trials and becomes a standard part of the trial protocol where relevant.


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Interesting article and certainly germane to a high need area of patient care when therapy drugs get involved.

I have met a surprising number of patients who have had very severe reactions to Rituximab. RTX has been used on countless thousands of people by now with most experiencing first infusion "anaphylactoid" or mimic of anaphylaxis that is unpleasant but manageable. I and a subset of other patients have had life threatening reactions and there is no good way test in advance for who is at risk.

It was suggested by my Onc that I may have suffered from Complement Dysregulation as a cause. If correct, any mAb that uses CDC (Complement Dependent Cytotoxicity) as a mechanism to lyse cells could be a death sentence.

The big question is whether or not a given test like the one in the article will become cheap enough to screen patients given the likelihood that severe reactions of approved drugs are few. I suspect this type of testing will only be used in new drug development and not on each patient for idiotypic or rare conditions like Complement Dysregulation.


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Thanks WWW for expanding far more on what I meant to mention in my post. This breakthrough is in the area of personalised medicine and hence is sure to be pricey. It would be fantastic even if was only used to reduce the risk for those brave volunteers for Phase1 and 2 trials, where there are significant unknowns on how different people will react to new drugs.



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