chapter  2
Pharmacology, Pharmacogenetics, and Pharmacoepidemiology: Three P’s of Individualized Therapy
ByShaheenah Dawood
Pages 14

Over the last decade significant advances have been made in the management of

breast cancer. This is exemplified by the development of several new agents and

significantly improved survival rates. However, despite our best efforts breast

cancer remains the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the

United States with approximately 40,910 women expected to die of this disease

in 2007 (1). Unfortunately, such trends are not restricted to only breast cancer but

have been observed across a range of solid tumors. A large portion of the

underlying problem is attributed to the fact that the choice of a chemotherapeutic

agent is often empirical based on guidelines that assumes all patients with a

particular malignancy to be homogeneous. The unfortunate outcome of this

erroneous belief is that approximately 40% of patients may be receiving the

wrong drug (2).