Cancer drugs wipes fingerprints

US immigration officials held a cancer patient for four hours before they allowed him to enter the country because he had no fingerprints. The problem arose because the patient, Mr S, is on long-term chemotherapy to prevent a relapse of his condition. The drug in question is the anti-metabolic agent capecitabine, Xeloda. This drug has the unfortunate side effect of causing hand-foot syndrome in some patients. This leads to chronic inflammation of the palms and soles, peeling skin, bleeding, and ulceration. Ultimately, the problem can cause the eradication of the patient's fingerprints. Immigration officials and oncologists are now advising all cancer patients being treated with the drug to carry a doctor's letter with them if they want to travel to the USA to avoid problems with the biometric identification system.