Navigation Links
Cancer drug causes patient to lose fingerprints and be detained by US immigration
Date:5/26/2009

Immigration officials held a cancer patient for four hours before they allowed him to enter the USA because one of his cancer drugs caused his fingerprints to disappear. His oncologist is now advising all cancer patients who are being treated with the commonly used drug, capecitabine, to carry a doctor's letter with them if they want to travel to the USA.

The incident is highlighted in a letter to the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology [1], published online today (Wednesday 27 May). According to the oncologist, several other cancer patients have reported loss of fingerprints on their blog sites, and some have also commented on similar problems entering the USA.

Dr Eng-Huat Tan, a senior consultant in the medical oncology department at the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, described how his patient, a 62-year-old man, had head and neck cancer that had spread (metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma), but which had responded well to chemotherapy. To help prevent a recurrence of the cancer the patient was put on a maintenance dose of capecitabine, an anti-metabolite drug.

Capecitabine is a common anti-cancer drug used in the treatment of a number of cancers such as head and neck cancers, breast, stomach and colorectal cancers. One of its adverse side-effects can be hand-foot syndrome; this is chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet and the skin can peel, bleed and develop ulcers or blisters. "This can give rise to eradication of finger prints with time," said Dr Tan.

The patient, Mr S, developed a mild case of hand-foot syndrome, and because it was not affecting his daily life he was kept on a low dose of the drug.

"In December 2008, after more than three years of capecitabine, he went to the United States to visit his relatives," wrote Dr Tan. "He was detained at the airport customs for four hours because the immigration officers could not detect his fingerprints. He was allowed to enter after the custom officers were satisfied that he was not a security threat. He was advised to travel with a letter from his oncologist stating his condition and the treatment he was receiving to account for his lack of fingerprints to facilitate his entry in future."

Foreign visitors have been asked to provide fingerprints at USA airports for several years now, and the images are matched with millions of visa holders to detect whether the new visa applicant has a visa under a different name. "These fingerprints are also matched to a list of suspected criminals," wrote Dr Tan.

Mr S was not aware that he had lost his fingerprints before he travelled.

Dr Tan concludes: "In summary, patients taking long-term capecitabine may have problems with regards to fingerprint identification when they enter United States' ports or other countries that require fingerprint identification and should be warned about this. It is uncertain when the onset of fingerprint loss will take place in susceptible patients who are taking capecitabine. However, it is possible that there may be a growing number of such patients as Mr S who may benefit from maintenance capecitabine for disseminated malignancy. These patients should prepare adequately before travelling to avert the inconvenience that Mr S was put through."

Dr Tan said that he would recommend patients on capecitabine to carry a doctor's letter with them. "My patient subsequently travelled again with a letter from us and he had fewer problems getting through."


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-771-129-6986
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Risks Remain for Childhood Cancer Survivors
2. Broad-Spectrum Cervical Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
3. Drug May Extend Life When Breast Cancer Spreads
4. Call to Action: Community Oncologists Propose Roadmap to Reformed Payment System for Cancer Care; Quality Cancer Care Demonstration Project Will Create System, Enhancing Quality Cancer Care While Controlling Costs
5. Can we afford the cancer care of the future?
6. The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition Showcases Its Traveling Photo Exhibit in McKean County at Kane Area Community Center
7. PET scan can non invasively measure early assessment of treatment for common type of breast cancer
8. WHO-IAEA join forces to fight cancer
9. Sunesis Announces New Data on Voreloxin for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Ovarian Cancer Will Be Presented at ASCO
10. Targeting the more lethal form of the cancer rhabdomyosarcoma
11. Cancer Drug May Boost Risk of Gastrointestinal Perforation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best ... individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a ... and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a ... can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers ... Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 ... ... respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need ... but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, ... a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, ... winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by ... 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic and ... the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced ... Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier ... creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare ... the patient payment and care experience, today ... products and services that will enhance the ... offerings. These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare ... compliant in an ever-changing environment and redefine ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: