Precision oncology aims to diagnose cancers more precisely and to detect tumor-specific changes in tumor tissue and surrounding tissue. Based on the precise characterization of cells, precision oncology seeks to provide tailored, highly efficient therapies against cancer that are at the same time gentle on healthy tissue, i.e. have fewer side effects.
Accurately characterize tumors
At the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich, we can analyze tumor samples biotechnologically using innovative methods – even down to the level of individual cells. Depending on the type of cancer and diagnosis, we examine, among other things, the genetic material, the composition of proteins, the response to drugs and the interaction with the immune system. This generates very large amounts of biomedical data. We can evaluate these using state-of-the-art data processing technologies. The molecular properties of tumors identified in this way are increasingly providing information on the prognosis of cancer. Ideally, they even serve as the basis for tailored and efficient treatment of cancer. Our tumor analyses also help to better understand the biology of cancer. This will enable us to improve the early detection of cancer, develop new innovative therapies, and ultimately achieve more successful cures with a good quality of life.
Molecular tumor profiling at the CCCZ
At the CCCZ, patients also receive a comprehensive molecular tumor profile of solid tumors or hematological diseases in collaboration with FoundationOne®Services, among others, which can support physicians in their treatment decisions for cancer patients by identifying cancer-associated genetic alterations.
In the Molecular Oncology Expert Group, the disease and progression data of cancer patients are presented and discussed across disciplines. Taking into account the individual, molecular profile of the tumor, the best possible and tailored therapy is jointly coordinated for each individual patient.
Treating cancer individually and in a targeted manner
Our physicians work together in our tumor boards to recommend personalized treatment strategies for each patient. The range of treatments offered by the CCCZ includes surgery, radiation therapy, and targeted, systemic drug and immunotherapies.
We offer highly specialized, robotic or minimally invasive tumor surgery. This allows us to remove tumors precisely and with fewer complications.
In the Department of Radiation Oncology, the hybrid MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Linac device enables precise and individualized radiation and cancer therapy for each patient. MRI imaging allows direct visualization and millimeter-level determination of the tumor. This allows us to monitor tumor and organ mobility “live” during irradiation and to control irradiation in a targeted manner. This outpatient treatment can be integrated into everyday professional and private life if it is very well tolerated.
We offer targeted drug system therapies that target specific biological properties of a tumor. Ideally, the drugs thus act almost exclusively on the tumor tissue, sparing the healthy cells and thus having fewer side effects.
We use targeted immunotherapies to enable the body’s own immune defenses to recognize tumor cells and eliminate them in a targeted manner. Immunotherapies can be combined with other (targeted) therapies as needed.
Manuel Schibli also benefited from the new possibilities of targeted cancer therapy. The 25-year-old from the canton of Aargau was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a relatively rare cancer in adults. For this specific form of blood cancer, an immunotherapy called CAR-T cells has been available for a few years.
The story of Manuel Schibli
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