Can drugs change the DNA positively?
Personalized cancer therapy: new treatment concepts for cancer patients
We already use the individual molecular characterization of tumors in the standard treatment of individual tumor diseases (e.g. lung tumors, skin cancer, etc.). A major focus of the uncovering of individual molecular tumor characteristics and personalized therapy lies above all in patients for whom the established therapeutic approaches no longer work or have failed. For these patients, we try to develop individual, novel treatment options based on the molecular tumor profiles. Incidentally, we learned that the genetic changes (mutations) of some very different types of cancer are very similar, while in one and the same type of tumor, very different mutation profiles can exist. This means that we can treat tumor diseases in such patients with drugs that are actually only approved for treating other types of cancer. Another important goal is to be able to predict the effectiveness as best as possible based on the molecular profiles and thus to avoid possibly ineffective treatments. In this way, of course, we can also reduce unnecessary side effects and possible drug intolerances.
The molecular methods described can also be used to detect the recurrence of tumor diseases at an early stage, in some cases significantly earlier than is possible with imaging methods (X-ray, CT, ultrasound, etc.) and the classic tumor markers. For example, it is possible to use molecular examinations in the blood of tumor patients (liquid biopsy) to detect recurrence of colon cancer up to six months earlier than would be detectable by CT examinations.
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