A Genecept Assay (Genomind; Chalfront, Pennsylvania) saliva assay is useful to me for complicated psych drug implementation. Many oncology patients take psych meds either before or during treatment. Do medications administered by oncologists for cancer treatment alter alleles affecting saliva, thus rendering the Genomind assay null and void? —Virginia Owens, MSN, FNP, PMHNO

This question has generated much discussion within my hospital’s oncologic and psychiatric community. The direct answer to the question is, “No. The chemotherapy will not alter alleles affecting saliva, thus it will not render the assay null and void.”

The bigger questions that we considered were: Will the psychiatric drugs interfere with the chemotherapy? There should be someone making sure that drug-to-drug reactions will not be an issue. And, does this test really identify specific psychiatric disorders or does it identify how patients metabolize certain psychotropic medications, which would affect the response someone would have receiving drug therapy for these disorders. —Rosemarie A. Tucci, RN, MSN, AOCN

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