Our clinic’s emphasis is laid on personalized cancer diagnosis and therapy - because every person is different and unique, so are people´s cancer.
This variability becomes not at last evident in the fact that every tumor – as well as every patient – reacts in a different manner to different substances. A substance that shows a fast-acting effect in one patient may in another patient only take effect when given in higher concentrations or not at all.
For a successful therapy, with minimal side effects, it is important to have the best possible knowledge about the particular tumor in question - before starting any treatments. This is the prerequisite for a patient-related individual therapeutic approach.
With molecular-genetic methods tumor DNA can be isolated and then sequenced via next generation sequencing (NGS). Whit this technique we can identify cancer-relevant mutations and enable a targeted therapeutic approach.
After a detailed insight into your set of circumstances we sometimes suggest additional tests, which are best suitable to your individual needs. Depending on the kind of test we suggest, we might need following samples for detailed analysis:
- a blood sample
- fresh or frozen tumor tissue
- tumor tissue, fixed and embedded in paraffin
This will allow us to perform the following closer analyses:
- Somatic tumor mutation profiling (multi-gene panel)
For somatic tumor mutation profiling several hundred cancer related genes are simultaneously sequenced (tumor DNA sequencing) followed by an analysis of all the areas, respectively single mutations. Detection of cancer driver genes allow oncologist to confirm clinical diagnoses, make a more educating assessment of prognosis and therapy selection of target therapy.
- Tumor mutation load
Over time mutations, which are not seen in normal cells, develop in cancer cells. The tumor mutation load is an indicator for the number of mutations present in tumor cells. On the basis of this specific factor (or biomarker) we can ideally predict how the patient will respond to an immuno-oncological therapy.
- Microsatellite Instability (MSI)
Cancer cells are rapidly multiplying and at the same time duplicating their genetic material, during this process errors (mutations) commonly occur. Under normal condition system called DNA mismatch repair (MMR) correct replication errors that occur during new DNA synthesis. Alterations in function of MMR genes can result in microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) which can occur in many cancers. MSI is now being used as a biomarker in predicting immunotherapy success.
- Liquid biopsy
Every tumor continuously releases genetic material into the blood stream in the form of cells and cell fragments. In liquid biopsy this material is isolated and sequenced (tumor DNA sequencing). The genetic information of a tumor can provide details of how and why the particular tumor has developed and how the tumor will respond to certain treatments. Liquid biopsy is a highly sensitive method and requires just a blood sample from the patient. Therefore, this method is not only best suitable in diagnostics, but also for check-ups (monitoring) and in after-care following completed cancer treatment.
Liquid biopsy is also suitable for patients in cases when
- surgical biopsies are not possible
- there is not sufficient tumor tissue available for further tumor analysis.