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A cost-effective way toward personalized cancer drugs
Date:10/25/2013

This news release is available in German.

Before a cancer patient embarks on a course of treatment, tests can be carried out to establish whether or not the chosen cytostatic agent combination is likely to be effective. But the time-consuming and expensive nature of traditional testing methods is prohibiting their widespread use. Collaborating with DITABIS Digital Biomedical Imaging Systems AG and scientists from Universitts-Frauenklinik Tbingen, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a cost-effective, automated system that allows doctors to determine which medications will prove most benefit for each patient. The "DiagnoSYS" system will be on show at BIOTECHNICA 2013 (Booth E09 in Hall 9), which will take place from October 8-10 in Hannover, Germany.

In treating many types of cancer, doctors often use combi-nation of chemotherapy with other treatments. The cytostatic agents used are designed to target faster growing cancer cells. But there is little consistency in how different patients respond to the various treatments: even when dealing with the same type of tumor, there are vast differences in tumor cell reaction to a given treatment. What greatly helps one person may have little effect on another. Thanks to in vitro chemosensitivity testing, it is possible to find the most effective drug for each patient before commencing treatment. The catch is that current methods of testing are extremely expensive and are not covered by standard health insurance plans, meaning that this personalized approach to treating tumors is rarely put into practice.

"Up till now, these tests have mainly been carried out manually," explains biologist Caroline Siegert from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. Medical laboratory scientists begin by m
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Contact: Axel Storz
axel.storz@ipa.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-3660
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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