Our FAQ is divided into two sections: For patients and physicians. Should this page not answer all of your questions, please contact us by e-mail.

ASC Oncology offers physicians and their patients an innovative procedure to help choose the optimal therapy for this patient’s cancer treatment. This approach uses so-called patient-derived tumor organoids on which the effectiveness of a range of cancer drugs is tested. Within only a few weeks, ASC Oncology communicates the results to the treating physician who can then select the most suitable form of medication. This greatly increases the probability of a successful therapy.

General questions

What distinguishes Reverse Clinical Engineering® from other providers?

We go one step further. Whilst a gene analysis only examines the template for a cell’s behaviour, we investigate the tumor’s biological reality.

What are the advantages of the ASC Oncology approach for patients?

Cancer is a highly individual disease. Every patient reacts differently to a chemotherapy, but their reaction is only revealed during its course. If the patient’s tumor does not react to a drug, an alternative substance has to be identified quickly which effect also has to be proven during the therapy process. So conventional approaches rely to a certain extent on a measure of trial and error. All this takes time, during which the cancer continues to grow. Our Reverse Clinical Engineering procedure starts before chemotherapy begins, eliminating all the drugs which will not be effective and identifying those which have a high probability of being effective. This means that patients are prescribed the drugs which promise the best chances of success right from the beginning.

Do the tests provided by ASC Oncology actually increase chances of recovery?

Yes. Receiving the most suitable medicine at the earliest point of disease increases your chances of a recovery.

How does the ASC Oncology test procedure work?

Your treating physician takes a biopsy of the cancerous tissue and sends it directly to us. We grow the tumor cells in the laboratory to so-called tumor organoids, on which we can test a great variety of substances, thereby finding the most suitable cancer drug for your tumor. Our results provide your physicians with the information that they need to develop a personalized tumour therapy with significantly higher chances of success compared to classical guideline-based therapies.

Does the test require additional interventions?

If you decide from the beginning on a test with ASC Oncology, a biopsy is sufficient. A tissue sample can easily be obtained during an already scheduled tumor operation.

My tumor has already been removed. Can I still undergo the test?

No. We cannot perform any tests without cancer tissue. However, if the cancer should spread again, a test can be performed.

I am very satisfied with the performance of my physician. Why should I commission these tests?

Even the best physician is unable to predict if a treatment will be successful. The test from ASC Oncology however increases your chances significantly for receiving the most effective chemotherapy from the outset.

Who is ASC Oncology and what expertise do you have?

ASC Oncology was founded by leading Pathologists, Biologists, Biochemists, Biotechnologists and Tumour biologists. Working together with lawyers and business data processing specialists, we are a Team that is dedicated to fighting cancer and promoting personalized tumor therapy to ensure that every patient receives the optimal chemotherapy.

Where is ASC Oncology located?

ASC Oncology GmbH is headquartered in Berlin-Buch at the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine campus. Directions are provided here.

Why has my physician or clinic not told me about the test provided by ASC Oncology?

Our test has only just been launched on the market, therefore many physicians and clinics have not yet heard about us. Through our collaborations with the University hospitals Magdeburg and Innsbruck we are however becoming more publicly known.

Does ASC Oncology replace my physician?

No. We merely perform tests on your tumor tissue and communicate the results to your physician.

Can I be treated anywhere in Germany?

Yes. We can start our work for you as soon as you have decided in consultation with your doctor, to undergo the test.

Will ASC Oncology coordinate with my physician regarding further treatment?

Yes. It is vital that we communicate and work together with your physician in a constructive manner. Only then, we can identify the best-possible chemotherapy to suit your needs.

Do other physicians, clinics or laboratories in Germany already offer this test?

No. This is a new and highly complex test that was developed in many years of research and implemented for practical use. ASC Oncology is a pioneer in this area. There are less than five companies in the USA who have a similar technological level.

Can the test be used for all types of cancer?

We have specialized in so-called solid tumors. We currently provide Reverse Clinical Engineering as standard for patients with bowel cancer (colorectal cancer), pancreatic cancer, lung cancer (NSCLC, SCLC) and breast cancer. Should you have a different kind of solid tumor, please contact us.

Are there any side effects?

No. We only perform tests on tissue taken from a biopsy.

How long does a test take?

Depending on the type of cancer, a test might require a different time frame. While tumor organoids from colorectal cancer grow quickly, the growth process for prostate cancer takes longer. For the entire process from biopsy to the result we usually aim for a total duration of four to six weeks. First results might already be available after two weeks.

My physician has recommended a therapy which does not fit the test results? Whom should I believe? Whom can I consult?

Our test provides valid results as to which cancer drugs will not be effective in your case, and which will be effective. Should your physician choose to ignore these finding, we recommend a consultation with us. As our test procedure is very new, we understand that experienced oncologists could doubt it but could be persuaded by information we can provide them with. Should this matter not be resolved, please contact us personally. We can give you the names of physicians in your area who have already had a good experience with ASC Oncology tests and who could, if necessary and you wish for this, take over your treatment.

Which results does the ASC Oncology test provide in the best and worst case scenarios?

In the best case, we confirm that the therapy prescribed by your physician is the best therapy for your cancer. In the worst case, we contradict your physician and provide proof but your physician refuses to accept our results. A good result is when we make a suitable therapy proposal which your physician then sets into action.

I still have some questions which were not answered here. Who can I contact?

Send your question to hello@asc-oncology.com.

About the costs

Will my statutory health insurance pay for the tests?

We have not yet reached any agreements with providers of statutory health insurance pertaining to the acceptance of costs. Our test is classified as an “individual health service” (individuelle Gesundheitsleistung- IGeL) the costs of which you will have to cover yourself. As soon as there are any developments on this topic, we will provide this information on our website.

What does a test cost?

We offer 3 different packages, which differ in the scope of their services. Together with you and your treating physician we decide which package is most suitable for you. Then we will create a personal offer for you that fits your needs and your individual situation.

Can I apply to the statutory health insurance for assumption of costs?

Yes, we also support you with arguments for the justification to the health insurer.

Specialist information

How long does the analysis take?

The entire process from biopsy to the result usually takes around four to six weeks. However, depending on the type of cancer, a test might require a different duration. While tumor organoids from colorectal cancer grow quickly, the growth process for prostate cancer for example takes longer. We can discuss your anticipated begin of treatment and our expected timeline before start of the tests.

How can I send a sample to you?

Please contact us here. We will provide sample tubes and packaging, as well as shipping instructions. The sample can be collected directly from the surgical unit and transported directly and quickly to us in Berlin Buch by courier.

Which patients are suitable for this procedure?

We have specialized in solid tumors. We currently provide Reverse Clinical Engineering as standard for patients with colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer (NSCLC, SCLC) and breast cancer. Should your patient have a different kind of solid tumor, please contact us.
Our test can also be used to stratify patients for a clinical study.
Please note that we require a tumor sample/biopsy to perform our test.

Where can I find the corresponding documents?

We send all relevant documents electronically to you and your patient as soon as you have registered through our website.

Which classes of drugs/substances do you test?

We test the classical chemotherapy drugs (e.g. anthracycline, taxanes, platinum derivates, vinca alkaloids). We also test small molecules (-nibs) and therapeutic antibodies (-mabs, -mubs). We can test all substances individually or in combination.

How much tumour tissue do you require?

Ideally, we require a minimum sized 5 x 5 x 5 mm tumor sample. Depending on the chosen package, you can send us up to 3 samples per tumor.

Can a test be conducted on biopsy material?

Sometimes, an operation is neither necessary nor possible. In such cases, we can try to create a patient-specific cell culture from biopsy material.

Do you also test immunomodulatory substances?

We are happy to perform tests with I/O drugs. In such a case, we also require at least 20 ml blood from the patient in addition to vital tumor tissue, to enable us to establish an autologous model system.