The All Wales Medical Genomics Service is thrilled to announce the availability of DPYD screening for cancer patients in Wales who are being treated with certain types of chemotherapy.
An estimated 10% of patients prescribed fluoropyrimidine drugs (which are widely used for the treatment of cancer) can develop severe, sometimes life-threatening side effects. However healthcare professionals across Wales can now offer DPYD screening prior to the start of the chemotherapy treatment to identify low levels of the DPD enzyme (the gene that encodes for dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme which helps to metabolise (break down0 the chemotherapy drugs).
With results in as little as 3 working days, treatments can be adjusted accordingly leading to significantly improved patient outcomes.

New 2


Len Richards, Chief Responsible Officer for Genomics Partnership Wales said:
 “Personalised medicine offers many prospects and it is exciting to see Wales once again leading the way in pharmacogenomics by routinely offering DPYD testing for chemotherapy patients across Wales. “By screening for DPYD variants at the right time and in an actionable timeframe we are able to provide better treatment options and save lives.”

Given the recent success of the pilot phase, which commenced earlier this year in collaboration with Velindre, all health boards across Wales can now routinely offer the DPYD test. To date, over 400 samples have been collected with uptake set to increase.


Richard Adams, Professor and Consultant in Bowel Cancer at Velindre and Cardiff University said:
New 3
“As doctors and health care professionals we are tasked with improving the well being of our patients and avoiding doing harm. Over the last 20 years I have seen and cared for many patients who have benefitted from this treatment but also looked after those who have suffered the more severe side effects, with more drastic consequences. This test now allows us to assess the risk of these side effects and in selected patients to change the treatment to reduce the likelihood of this occurring. DPYD screening allows us to improve the quality of care of cancer patients across Wales and save lives“