Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing With Karen Merritt and Dan Hertz, PharmD, PhD

Karen Merritt’s mother, her inspiration for advocating for pretreatment DPYD testing.

At the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Karen Merritt,  Co-Founder of Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing, and Dan Hertz, PharmD, PhD, Medical Advisor for the organization and Associate Professor of Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan, sat down to discuss the importance of universal access to dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD/DPYD) testing and how patient advocacy is imperative to raising awareness about this issue.

 

Listen along to this podcast episode to hear more about:

  • What DPD/DPYD deficiency is and why it needs to be performed before starting chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or capecitabine
  • The current state of testing for this deficiency in the US
  • Who the Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing are, the story behind its creation, and its mission
  • Initiatives they are leading to raise awareness, advocate for better testing, and improve treatment guidelines and drug safety labels
  • What clinicians should know about DPD/DPYD testing and how they should counsel their patients
  • And more!

About Ms. Merritt and Dr. Hertz

Karen Merritt, Patient Advocate, is a Co-Founder of Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing, an organization of patients and clinicians who are helping to raise awareness of DPD deficiency and how pre-screening before chemotherapy is essential for all patients. She is passionate about educating patients and clinicians about gene-drug interactions and the safety benefits of personalized medicine, her inspiration being her mother who lost her life to an unknown DPD deficiency after her first infusion of 5-FU in 2014.

Dan Hertz, PharmD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on pharmacogenetics and developing new treatment strategies to better individualize cancer treatment. Dr. Hertz serves as a Medical Advisor for Advocates for Universal DPD/DPYD Testing.

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