Pioneering diagnostics Now identify and control cancers via a blood test
The future of cancer diagnostics
Cancer diagnostics is in transition. Soon it will be determined by a simple blood test, if someone has a tumor disease and if so, which. This is made possible by the identification of the genetic modifications that every cancer brings with it. The process that is currently being researched with priority is Liquid-Biopsy. The first patients were already able to benefit from the promising diagnostics.
The University Hospital of Freiburg is currently pushing several projects to make cancer diagnostics widely used in blood tests. Based on the new Liquid Biopsy Diagnostics, the researchers are not only able to identify if and which cancers are present, the blood sample also provides information on whether the cancer responds to a therapy and whether it changes over time. Among other things, the methodology is suitable for use in lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and sarcomas.The so-called Liquid Biopsy blood sample can be used to diagnose if and which cancers are present. In addition, the success of a therapy can be checked via the sample. (Image: StudioLaMagica / fotolia.com)
New diagnosis should be available as soon as possible
"The determination of cancer using simple blood samples becomes essential for precision therapy," reports Professor Dr. med. Dieter Marmé in a press release on the new cancer diagnostics. The researchers want to make this key technology in cancer medicine available to all patients as quickly as possible.
For diagnosis and therapy control
"We would like to advance Liquid-Biopsy and establish it in the diagnostics and therapy control of various types of cancer," adds Professor Dr. med. Christoph Peters, the Scientific Director of the Tumor Center Freiburg.
How does the new method work??
The research team explains that malignant tumors release individual tumor cells as well as parts of their genetic molecules (DNA, RNA) into the blood. These molecules are unique for each cancer and each patient, resulting in a genetic signature that can change in the course of a cancer. Through the blood test, this signature can be identified and evaluated. "Close-meshed liquid biopsy controls allow the therapy to be adapted as soon as there is a change in the tumor genome," explains Professor Peters.
First successes in lung cancer patients
The team reports on the first successes of the new method. According to the doctors, the patient Reinhard K. came to the doctor for a persistent cough. The diagnosis was made by classical methods. Reinhard K. suffered from lung cancer and metastases had already spread in the brain and in the bones. Immediately the doctors started radiotherapy - but without success.
Desperately, Reinhard K. turned to the University Hospital of Freiburg, where the new Liquid Biopsy examination of the blood is already being used in a study. The researchers examined the blood of Reinhard K. with the new diagnostic method and discover tumor cells with a genetic change that had not been noticed in the tissue sample. The doctors adapted the therapy to this genetic feature. Further controls showed that the treatment was successful and the tumor cells were getting fewer.
More security and success control
"These early information during therapy give the patient a lot of security," emphasize the Freiburg doctors. Even in the long term, the cancer can be kept in check and the therapy optimally adjusted.
Funded exclusively through donations
As the researchers report, the research on the new diagnostics is financed exclusively through donations. The Tumor Biology Society recently funded the project with 1.5 million euros. The website of the research association Tumor Cancer Biology contains all information about donations. (Vb)