Speaker Profile

Patient Advocate, AUDT

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 Not Implementing Pharmacogenomics
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 pre-test for DPD Deficiency.