The side effects of a drug to treat cancer led to a Singapore man being detained for hours by airport security officials who couldn’t find his fingerprints, USA Today reports. The drug capecitabine causes hand-foot syndrome, in which the skin peels off; the man was finally allowed through after being advised to carry a doctor’s note. His oncologist describes the unusual case today in an online letter to the Annals of Oncology.
Two years ago, Spanish doctors reported a similar incident involving a flight attendant taking the drug for breast cancer. In fact, for a variety of reasons, about 1 in 50 people worldwide lack matchable fingerprints, notes USA Today. "We have standard operating procedures that take that into account," says a Homeland Security official, adding that border agents consider other physical and behavioral traits.