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Introduction to tumor diagnostics system

Molecular biological tumor diagnosis uses techniques by means of which the development of cancer may be examined on the molecular level. On the molecular level, the resolution power of imaging procedures is generally insufficient.

Especially the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) allows diagnostic procedures based on specific molecular biological markers to detect single cancer cells, which have detached from a solid tumor and are circulating in blood or dissiminate into the bone marrow. Methods of molecular biology thus achieve a higher diagnostic precision. The development of a tumor may be predicted more precisely by the analysis of genetic modifications in tumor cells. In the future the analysis of a modified expression pattern of tumor cells may be applied in early detection or diagnosis of recidives in different kinds of cancer.

QIAGEN Hannover owns a proprietary test system (COCP) based on reverse transcription PCR for the detection of circulating tumor cells in blood. The advantage of this diagnostic approach towards the currently established methods is the direct detection of disseminated tumor cells in patient's blood by means of the analysis of the tumor associated gene expression. Within the framework of therapy monitoring/treatment monitoring, a conclusion concerning successful cancer therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) may be reached early on. Moreover, the detection of tumor cells in the circulation may indicate recidives in the course of cancer aftercare.

Enhancing cancer management

QIAGEN Hannover's tumor diagnostics system sets a new standards in cancer management due to the earlier detection of tumor relapse with greater accuracy, even in cases when conventional procedures can not identify a metastasis. This advance in cancer diagnosis will lead to the following significant advantages for patient and physician:

Better prognosis: disseminated tumor cells in the bloodstream prior to surgery indicate an elevated risk of metastases; post-operative chemotherapeutic treatment might be indicated.
Improved therapy monitoring: the efficacy of tumor therapy can be measured if tumor cells disappear during treatment. If cells reappear post treatment, due to drug resistance or ongoing metastases, alternate therapeutic strategies may be needed.
Earlier detection of tumor relapse: AdnaTests detect relapse several months earlier than any established clinical method. There is a strong correlation between the success of cancer treatment and proper stratification of patients.