Dozens of Australian cancer patients have reportedly received less than the recommended dosage of a chemotherapy drug over a three year period in a prestigious hospital.
While the problem has been known for some time, it is only now that St. Vincent’s hospital here has begun informing the surviving patients and their families that oncologist John Grygiel had been prescribing the same dosage for head and neck cancer without adjusting to their individual test results, Xinhua quoted Australia’s national broadcaster as saying.
ABC reported that all 70 patients were administered the incorrect dosages for up to three years, and in some cases were given as little as 50 percent of the required dose.
The usual dosage for common head and neck cancers is between 200 and 300 mg of the drug, but Grygiel gave a flat 100 mg dosage.
“I think that he felt that the dose he prescribed was genuinely effective and caused less side effects for patients,” St. Vincent’s hospital director of cancer services Richard Gallagher said.
“(But) I still don’t understand where the mechanism or thought came from,” he said. “I’m not happy this has gone on. I freely admit there’s clearly a breakdown in clinical governance.”