FEM_PERS: Personalized medicine for women by use of breath tests

Who wants to be pricked with a needle or undergo biopsy for removal of a small piece of tissue? The aim of the present project FEM PERS is to contribute to personalized medicine by non-invasive breath tests.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for women. The clinical impact of medication (e.g., tamoxifen) varies considerably in terms of effectiveness and toxicity among different patients. Blood concentration levels of certain drugs may differ by a factor of 1000 between two patients with the same body weight after ingestion of the same medication dose. A central role responsible for this difference is played by cytochrome P450 enzymes, e.g. CYP3A4 and CYP2D6.

One aim of the present project was the determination of the optimal individual dose of tamoxifen for different patients. On the one hand, a breath test for the measurement of CYP2D6 activity was validated. On the other hand, a new breath test for measurement of CYP3A4 activity was developed intending personalized monitoring of other drugs metabolized by this enzyme. The results of the project fostered a targeted drug monitoring, resulting in a personalized, safe and effective therapy, which avoids adverse interactions between different drugs. In the future, the validated breath test for CYP2D6 and the newly developed breath test for CYP3A4 will help to provide an effective personalized drug prescription.

In FEM PERS pupils learned to understand new ways of breast cancer therapy and performed their own breath-related studies using highly sensitive analytical techniques during experiments with a stationary bicycle or in the sleep lab. They got insight into working procedures in biological and chemical labs or in processing biomathematical data.

FEM_PERS offered new possibilities to stimulate the technical interest of pupils and thereby achieve the scientific goal of the project by trans-disciplinary cooperation.


This project has been completed.