In cancer, treatment differs according to cellular changes!

Cancer is actually the name of a disease with more than 200 types. Moreover, in addition to the large number of diseases, the molecular structure of each is not the same. For this reason, success can be achieved when treated with an approach that will be applied to the person and even to the mutation. Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er says that both tissue biopsy tests and liquid biopsy tests, which have been used in the last 2-3 years and are examined from blood, are very important guides in this sense. Changes in cancer can be detected at the cellular level, and targeted therapies developed against them can be individually planned.

According to statistics, around 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the world. It is observed that this figure increases in proportion to the increase and aging of the population. Depending on this acceleration, it is predicted that the number of people who meet cancer for the first time every year in 2025 will be 19.3 million in total. However, among the causes of death today, cancer ranks second after cardiovascular diseases, but projections indicate that cancer will rank first in 20 years.

What is cancer? Why does it happen? Types, symptoms and treatment

Mutations can only be detected by blood tests.

Cancer is defined as the development of damage and uncontrolled proliferation due to the accumulation of changes called mutations in normal cells. Various chemicals, some viruses or genetic changes do not all show inherited transmission. However, both hereditary changes (mutations) and changes caused by environmental factors can be detected.

However, there have been significant developments in the treatment of cancer in recent years. The information obtained has removed cancer from the position of a disease that can now be treated by looking at it from a single window. While the success rate of treatments based on the organ of origin and pathological type is lower, treatment methods specific to the individual and the tumor in that person for the last 10 years both prevent loss of life and prolong life. The most important information that enables us to reach this point is obtained by deciphering the molecular structure of cancer. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er says that changes and mutations in cancer can be detected at the cellular level, both by tissue biopsy tests and liquid biopsy tests, which have been used in the last 2-3 years and are looked at from blood. Targeted therapies developed against these changes can be planned individually. In addition, in cases where tissue biopsy cannot be performed due to tumor tissue, the necessary tests can also be performed from blood to determine the suitability for immunotherapy with a blood test.

High effect, few side effects

‘Personalized treatment’, which has been successfully applied in our country as well as in the world for the last 10 years, offers more opportunities to the patient as it is highly effective and has less side effects. Reminding that there are differences at the molecular level even in the same cancer type, and therefore different responses can be obtained in treatments. Dr. Özlem Er said, “With liquid biopsy, the genetic characteristics of the person and the tumor can be determined, and the most appropriate drug can be selected for that disease. In addition, cancer cells can be examined at the molecular level and results can be obtained in terms of more than 50 genetic changes. In this way, a highly effective treatment can be determined by choosing the appropriate drug for the genetic change detected in the cancer cell. In this way, it is possible to apply the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.”

What should we do to prevent cancer?

Response to treatment can be determined in advance

Explaining that molecular tests are also recommended in international guidelines, especially on lung cancer, Prof. Dr. Özlem Er states that by determining the characteristics of the tumor, the course of the disease and the responses to the treatment to be applied can be determined beforehand. Treatment selection is made based on the results obtained. In this way, unnecessary drug use in the patient is prevented, and the increase in side effects and the economic burden are eliminated.

Progress gives hope

Stating that it will be possible to detect the course of the disease early, by performing serial blood tests to determine the efficacy and treatment resistance for each patient both at the time of diagnosis and during treatment, Prof. Dr. Özlem Er said, “Work on this issue continues at full speed. In the case of resistance development during targeted therapy in blood samples, for example in people with EGFR mutations in lung cancer, drug changes can be made by detecting different mutations (T790M). This will also be possible for other types of cancer in the near future.”

4 groundbreaking developments in cancer treatment!

In our country, 97 thousand men and 62 thousand women are diagnosed with cancer every year.

The average incidence of cancer in men and women in Turkey is 215.1 per hundred thousand. According to cancer statistics, approximately 97 thousand men and 62 thousand women are diagnosed with cancer every year in our country. The reasons for the increase in cancer are; The increase in the elderly population in the society due to the prolongation of life expectancy at birth, the increase in the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products, the increase in obesity and the increasing importance of environmental and occupational cancer makers are listed as. Therefore, the most important power in the fight against cancer is to take the necessary precautions by raising awareness. prof. Dr. Özlem Er says, “Scientific institutions and non-governmental organizations work together on tobacco control, changing the wrong diet and living habits, fighting against environmental factors and diseases that can cause cancer.”

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