Karen Merritt is an impassioned patient advocate. Having lost her mother in 2014 after fatal toxicity from 5-FU chemotherapy due to an unknown DPD Deficiency, Karen is dedicated to advocating for pretesting for DPD Deficiency before fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy administration. Founding member of Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing (AUDT). As a Patient Representative, Karen is a member of ClinGen PGx Working Group as well as Standardizing Laboratory Practices in Pharmacogenomics (STRIPE)
Human Cost of Ignoring DPD Deficiency
Demonstrated clinical benefits show pretreatment DPYD testing increases patient safety, improves quality of care and saves money. Tragic to lose a loved one to cancer, but even more tragic when the death could have been prevented with a simple cheek swab. Time to pretest for DPD Deficiency.
Mary Relling, St. Jude
Pharmacists have long recognized that using unique patient characteristics to guide pharmacotherapy decision-making can improve drug response and mitigate drug-associated risks. Age, weight, and dietary habits were among the first patient-specific characteristics used to individualize pharmacotherapy. As technologies advanced, analytic tools that measure surrogate markers of liver and renal function, together with drug concentrations in biological fluids, were adopted to optimize therapeutic regimens. Cutting-edge genomic technologies are now being integrated into patient care for the selection of targeted therapies and identification of those at increased risk of poor pharmacotherapy outcomes. We’re excited to bring together experts who are advancing pharmacogenomics at scale through cutting edge clinical implementation, research, and education.