Malignant cancerous growths/tumors can arise from uncontrolled division of the body's own cells. They become malignant in particular because their uncontrolled growth displaces healthy tissue, crosses organ boundaries and invades organs, where it impairs the respective organ function.
The tumor cells can also spread further via the blood and lymphatic system and establish themselves in other organs as so-called metastases.
The diagnosis of tumors is carried out in the area of early detection as well as for therapy accompaniment (e.g. liquid biopsy). In the case of early detection, the aim is to identify a tumor in good time so that, if possible, it has not yet caused any damage. In the case of therapy monitoring, the aim is to assess whether, for example, chemotherapeutic measures and/or radiation have been able to make the tumor smaller and/or whether it has even been possible to remove it completely by means of surgery.
In oncology, a distinction is made between hereditary and acquired/sporadic tumor diseases. Only about 5% of all tumor diseases are hereditary. The remaining 95% are acquired tumor diseases, i.e. tumor diseases that have occurred in the course of life.
Personalized Medicine has set itself the goal of using both the optimal diagnostics and the best possible therapy for each individual patient. Today, molecular genetic testing methods are indispensable for early detection, therapy planning, therapy monitoring and also screening of relatives.