The onset of tumors is a multi-factorial process involving several cellular signaling pathways. Since mid 2002, scientists from the Fraunhofer IGB, together with partners at the universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen as well as the Robert Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart, have been working on a collaborative research project funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg on the molecular analysis of breast cancer tumors. The Fraunhofer IGB's role is focused on testing a DNA biochip for improved and individualized breast cancer diagnosis.
As a rule, current diagnosis procedures initially involve feeling for lumps in the breast, which are then subsequently investigated using imaging techniques such as mammography. If cancer is still suspected at this stage, the degenerate tissue is surgically removed and analyzed. It is well known that histopathologically identical tumors can exhibit different clinical progression under the same therapy.
In order to optimize therapy, there is an urgent need to further differentiate diagnosis. The creation of individual transcription profiles of tumors based on biochips can provide an appropriate approach here.