Lung Cancer

Cancerous tumors of the lung are usually of primary nature, which means they start to grow in the lung, with the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body, or can be characterized as secondary tumors, which have spread from elsewhere, also called lung metastases. A neoplasm or also called a tumour is a group of cells that have undergone unregulated growth and may form a mass, but can also be distributed diffusely throughout the body. 

Tumour cells show a number of characteristics, including abnormal cell growth and division absence of programmed cell death, high number of cell divisions, promoting of blood vessel formation, invasion of tissue and metastasis. 

Signs and symptoms of the disease are wide and may include chest pain, coughing, also coughing up blood, shortness of breath, weight loss, weakness, or fever. There are two main types of lung cancer called small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). These tumors are classified by its histological appearance, and this classification is important for determining the further path, and management of the disease. 

Some of the lung tumors can be surgically removed, if they found to be operable. In other cases, a chemotherapy and/or a radiotherapy are recommended beforehand, after or even instead of the surgical intervention. The most modern method nowadays is the usage of immunotherapies in lung cancer patients, or a genetic-targeted therapies with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. 

The first diagnosis is usually made by diagnostic imaging. A PET-CT-Scan is performed, which helps to see whether and where tumor masses are located. It shows us whether the cancer has already spread to other tissues (metastasis). If a mass has been confirmed, it should be biopsied in order to determine the dignity of the tumor. A histopathological analysis can determine the exact (cell) type of the tumor. There are different types of tumors known, and each of them presents unique genetic characteristics. 

What most patients do not know is, that when the first examination on the biopsy has been performed (to determine the tumor type), the tissue is kept and stored at the histopathology department of the hospital, where the biopsy has been performed. This stored tissue material can be used for thorough (genetic) tissue analyses and in-depth sequencing. It is known that tumors show the accumulation of several genetic modifications, thus providing cancer cells with the selective growth advantage to initiate expansion. Now, sophisticated high-throughput technologies enable the identification of these mutated genes in cancers that can lead to a potent targeted therapy. 

It is crucial to perform a thorough broad-spectrum screening so that every patient has a chance to explore all possibilities of a targeted treatment, may it be in a private setting or a clinical trial elsewhere. So it is most important to first find a laboratory that looks for all markers and mutations, and second, to find an oncologist who is willing to work with you in the best (and targeted) way possible. 

Therefore, an umbrella concept is evaluated, that considers all aspects of the patient’s medical history, other diagnosis, and general well-being, as well as the available diagnostic constellations and ongoing treatments. An umbrella concept does not rely on one therapeutic option or the other, it is highly considering a precision-based combination of therapies that are evaluated for each individual case. 

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Important: Our oncological team is happy to talk to you by phone to get a deeper understanding about your specific case, enabling to provide you with a provisional treatment plan and cost estimate. Our oncologists will provide you all the details on medications, therapeutics and treatments including underlying mechanism and side effects. After a physical examination and an in-depth discussion with you on-site, the definite treatment plan will be discussed. Please understand that complex medical processes as mentioned above can only be explained through a thorough consultation on-site.



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