Cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled divison and propagation to nearby/far tissues of cells with damaged or mutated DNA. These cells can’t execute apoptosis (planned death of cells) process because of DNA damage. The cells which divide and increase in number in an uncontrolled way become masses and form the tissue called tumor.
Cancer originates from DNA damage or mutation that is why it is considered as a genetic disease. But if these masses (formed of uncontrollably increasing cells) do not spread to other tissues or organs, the mass is called a benign tumor. But if it is spread into nearby tissues or into different area/s of the body, this is called malignant tumor; in other words cancer.
There are 2 main factors causing cancer; hereditary factors and environmental factors. A genetic change is a necessary component for cancer and these genetic changes usually caused by environmental factors. As it is mentioned in the web-site of Genomic Tumor Council, in limited number of cases (approximately 10%), cancer may be inherited from the mother or father.
Scannings, definitive diagnosis tests, tumor profiling tests, liquid biopsy, hereditary cancer tests are widely used to diagnose cancer.
Advanced improvements devoted to a more acurate cancer understanding at molecular levels are recorded. Information obtained from these improvements are converted into more reliable diagnosis and prognostic biomarkers and several brand-new treatment tools are developped in the last 10 years.
Last 20 years, our knowledge about cancer’s pathogenesis has steadily improved and it has been accepted that tumor formation is a multi-step, complex process that is provided by gains of a chapter of characteristics that underlies the malignities of the cells. Most of these characteristics that are explained by genetic or epigenetic incidents can happen due to subject cells gaining, amplifying or extreme expression of oncogenous and/or function loss, deletion or silence of oncosuppressor genes.
Nowadays Tissue Biopsy and Liquid Biopsy methods are used to obtain tumor for definition of genetic changes somatically: for hereditary cancer types EDTA-Blood Sample is obtained.
In the treatment process of cancer, alongside surgical intervention, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, new generation cures namely: “target-driven treatments” (can be determined by genetic and genomic tests) and “imminotheraphy” (aims to strengthen the patient’s immune system) are used.
In the light of current scientific improvements, precision medicine is becoming more important. Tumor Councils (consisting of MDs from different diciplines) assemble to determine the method of cancer treatment in rare and progressed cases.
Precision medicine in cancer aims to develop treatments not based to the type of cancer but the individual’s genetic factors and exposure to environmental factors. This way, personal treatment principle is adopted and side effects of the process can be reduced.
Cancer’s mutation data is obtained through biopsies of tumor tissues with in-vasive methods. Biopsy needles are standard medical equipments used to take out biological tissues to diagnose a specific abnormality like masses with cancer.
Molecular genetic methods and FISH are used for genetic analysis of the samples obtained through tissue biopsy.
Liquid biopsy is a method used to detect somatic mutations in circulating cell-free tumor DNA. Molecular genetic methods are used for genetic analysis in samples obtained by liquid biopsy. Cell-free DNA which is isolated from patient’s blood is analysed, defined and these changes are applied to treatments and clinical trials.
Liquid biopsy tests may be used for diagnosis and scanning of:
1) The patients who are diagnosed with cancer;
a) Patients undergoing cancer treatment,
b) The patients who have completed cancer treatment process,
2) Scanning targeted Liquid Biopsy is used for:
a) The patients who are suspected of having cancer
b) The individuals in high-risk group (no diagnosis for cancer)
THE BELOW LISTED PEOPLE ARE WITH HIGH RISKS:
Cases of thyroid cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer in the family history are instances of hereditary cancer types. Latest developments contribute both to diagnosis of the cancer and personalization of treatments.
In our laboratory we regularly perform molecular and FISH analysis.