Every type of cancer is different. Every patient is an individual. We create customised treatment plans for our patients in personalised oncology on the basis of molecular testing.
The patients are repeatedly tested by the Swiss Tumor Molecular Institute (Swiss TMI). This means that tissue or blood from their tumour is sent to a laboratory, where it is examined for individual changes (so-called mutations). The repeated tests make it possible to precisely classify the tumour by determining possible resistances through initial treatments . This targeted approach is designed to make the cancer therapy more efficient. Molecular diagnostics and interpretations of the results provide patients and oncologists with personalised therapy recommendations.
Personalised oncology is a targeted therapy that considers each patient’s individual case and personalises the tumour treatment accordingly.
In this new specialist field, “molecular consultations” serve as a bridge between the laboratory, the patient and their oncologist. These consultations help the patient to better understand their cancer, their personalised therapy and the methods of the medical professionals involved.
Cancer is dynamic and develops resistance mechanisms, usually in the form of mutations. It is therefore important to conduct repeated analyses of the tumour tissue or blood, so that the cancer can be treated in a way that is suitable for its respective (developmental) stage.
Medical specialists take the individual patient and their particular type of cancer into account when assessing which diagnostic measures would be suitable at the beginning of the treatment, or could be effective in situations where standardised therapeutic approaches are no longer effective. These molecular results are interpreted by a “molecular consultant”. “Molecular consultations” help patients and oncologists to understand the influence that genetic changes have on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Consequently, personalised oncology treatment always refers to therapy that is tailored to suit the patient and their particular cancer.
So far the Swiss TMI has identified a specific, treatable change in the tumours of around one third of patients (website only available in German). Around 40% of those patients received personalised treatment based on the molecular characteristics of their tumour with the help of the Swiss TMI.
You can request an individual consultation at the Swiss TMI:
The specialist area of personalised oncology provides professional support for patients after their initial cancer diagnosis, as well as in situations for which there are no other standardised therapy options.
The key members of the treatment team are the attending oncologist (referring doctor), the molecular pathologist (laboratory) and the molecular consultant.
The patients continue to be treated by their attending oncologist to ensure continuity of care. The molecular consultant advises the treatment team.
This specialist area also assists with the organisation of cost coverage statements from health insurance companies and negotiations with industry partners.
Personalised oncology is designed to benefit the patient in several ways. It can lead to a more efficient diagnosis and a targeted cancer therapy approach that achieves a better result for increased quality of life. Repeated molecular tests also make it possible to show the progression of the tumour by identifying possible resistances to initial treatments. This information is then used to adapt the treatment.
For this medical specialisation, referring doctors are the single point of access for the following services:
- Selection of targeted molecular analyses of tissue/blood
- Interpretation of the results
- Patient consultations
- Treatment recommendations
- Organisation of confirmation of health insurance coverage
- Organisation of relevant medication(s)
The attending oncologist receives a detailed report with the recommendations for a personalised therapy approach.
Personalised oncology is a targeted therapy based on a tumour’s individual molecular characteristics. In around one third of patients, a specific and treatable change in the tumour was identified. Around 40% of those patients were treated in collaboration with the Swiss TMI. Personalised molecular diagnostics make it possible for medications to be used in a targeted way rather than in a standardised way (depending on the results of the molecular diagnosis). This significantly improves the cost efficiency of the treatment. The Swiss TMI helps attending oncologists to request confirmation of coverage from health insurance companies and organise the recommended medication(s).
More information is available on the Swiss TMI website.
Molecular tests are currently revolutionising cancer therapy. They make it possible to rapidly respond to changes in tumours (development of resistance) by exploiting modern, targeted therapies that are individually tailored to the patient and their cancer. This means that the benefits of molecular tests clearly outweigh any risks. Thanks to more efficient diagnostics and targeted cancer therapy approaches, patients benefit from improved efficacy and thus a better quality of life. Medications can be used in a targeted way rather than in a standardised way (depending on the results of the molecular diagnostics). This significantly improves the cost efficiency of the treatment. As such, the Swiss TMI can serve as a network for “real life data”.