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Medical News & Perspectives
August 11, 2004

Patients' Genes May Influence Quality of Life After Cancer Chemotherapy

JAMA. 2004;292(6):673-674. doi:10.1001/jama.292.6.673

New Orleans—Although extending life is clearly a primary goal in treating patients with cancer, concerns about quality of life are often considered equally important. In recent years, scientists have discovered that the genetic mutations found in a patient's tumor can often determine the severity of the disease and the potential for a successful response to certain therapies. Now they are finding that a patient's genetic makeup may also play a role in aspects of quality of life—such as a patient's distress, outlook, and fatigue—following treatment.