Our FAQ is divided into two sections: For patients and for healthcare professionals. 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 patient and the treating physician who can then select the most suitable form of medication. This greatly increases the probability of a successful therapy.
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.
Cancer is a highly individual disease. Every tumor reacts differently to a chemotherapy, but this only becomes apparent in the course of treatment. If a patient’s tumor does not respond to a prescribed drug, an alternative treatment must be found quickly, the effectiveness of which also remains to be determined. This takes time, during which the cancer can continue to grow. Reverse Clinical Engineering® tests drug efficacy on your own tumor cells even before therapy begins, eliminating all the drugs which are unlikely to be effective and identifying those which have a high probability of being effective. This allows the optimal cancer drug for your disease to be selected right from the start.
Receiving the most suitable medicine at the earliest point of disease increases your chances of successful treatment. However, some patients are at a stage of disease where a cure is no longer possible. Successful treatment, though, can prolong life and improve quality of life.
Your treating physician takes a piece of cancer tissue during a scheduled surgery or biopsy and sends it directly to ASC Oncology’s laboratory. Our team of scientists grows the tumor cells in the laboratory to generate tiny 3D copies of the tumor, so-called tumor organoids. Using these copies, we can test all the drugs considered most suitable for treating your tumor. Our results provide you and your physicians with the information needed to develop a personalized cancer therapy, enabling higher treatment success rates compared to the classical approach.
The fresh tissue sample required for the test procedure can be taken during an already scheduled tumor operation or biopsy. If no surgery or biopsy is planned, it is necessary to consult with the attending physicians regarding a separate tissue collection for the testing procedure.
No. The Reverse Clinical Engineering® test procedure requires a fresh tissue sample of the tumor or metastasis. If the cancer spreads again, testing becomes possible, provided a tissue sample can be obtained by surgery or biopsy.
No, most likely not. Reverse Clinical Engineering® requires a fresh tissue sample with living tumor cells. Very rarely, it may happen that a tissue sample is stored in such a way that living cells can be obtained from it. However, this is extremely rare.
ASC Oncology does not replace your oncologist but provides you and your physician with additional information. Every patient and every cancer is unique. Treatment success can never be guaranteed. Through the results of the Reverse Clinical Engineering®, you and your oncologist will find out which drugs are likely to work for your individual tumor. With this additional knowledge, you increase the chance of receiving effective therapy right from the start.
No. The testing procedure is a complementary service for which we work together with your physicians. In consultation with them, we select the drugs to be tested and then provide the results for optimal treatment decisions. Your treating physician remains the one who prescribes the cancer therapy and provides you with medical care.
Your oncologist recommends the anticancer drugs to be tested by Reverse Clinical Engineering®. We are happy to assist in the selection process, if desired, and will provide you and your physician with the results after testing is complete. The treatment decision is then made jointly by you and your physician. During the entire process, we are available to provide advice and support if, for example, there are questions about the interpretation of the test results or the like.
Oncologists and patients have only been able to use the test procedure for a few years. We are always working to expand our collaborations and increase awareness of the test procedure, but it is certainly possible that your treating physician is not yet part of our network. If you wish, we can get in touch with your doctor.
Reverse Clinical Engineering® is offered exclusively by ASC Oncology and can be carried out at our partner clinics as well as at other clinics and medical offices within Germany and worldwide. All that needs to be ensured is the shipment of the tumor sample to our laboratory in Berlin.
ASC Oncology was founded by leading scientists in the fields of pathology, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and tumor biology. Working together with lawyers and business informatics specialists, we form a Team with years of experience dedicated to the fight against cancer and the advancement of personalized tumor therapy. Our goal is to find the optimal chemotherapy for each individual patient.
ASC Oncology is located on the Campus Berlin-Buch. You can find directions here.
Yes, ASC Oncology offers the Reverse Clinical Engineering® testing procedure to patients and physicians worldwide. Only the shipment of the tumor sample to our laboratory in Berlin must be ensured.
No. The tumor sample is taken by your physician on site and brought to our laboratory by a courier service.
In principle, the test procedure is suitable for all solid tumors, such as colon cancer (colon carcinoma), pancreatic cancer (pancreatic carcinoma), lung cancer (NSCLC, SCLC), breast cancer (mammary carcinoma) or sarcomas. However, it cannot be used in patients with blood cancer (leukemia) or lymph node cancer (lymphoma).
No. We only test tumor tissue taken during surgery or biopsy. The testing procedure takes place in the laboratory and outside the human body. Accordingly, no side effects can occur.
It varies. On average, the Reverse Clinical Engineering® takes about four weeks from sample receipt to the final report. Depending on the type of cancer and the quality of the tumor sample, the growth of the tumor models may vary, so the testing procedure may take more or less time.
Reverse Clinical Engineering® provides results on which cancer drugs offer the best chance of successful treatment in your case. If your doctor has any concerns, we recommend a professional consultation with us first. Because our testing procedure is relatively new, we understand that oncologists may have doubts at first. In a joint discussion, we will clear up these doubts. Therefore, please talk to us if you would like us to contact your oncologist on your behalf.
The Reverse Clinical Engineering® test procedure is currently still an individual health service (so-called IGeL in Germany) that patients pay for themselves. However, you can apply to your statutory or private health insurance to have the costs covered. We have prepared forms for this purpose for German statutory or private health insurance companies and will be happy to assist you with the entire process. In addition, we are in discussions with the German health insurance companies in order to achieve long-term cost coverage for the benefit of the patients.
Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0800 6988667 or book a callback using the green button at the bottom right of the page.
For healthcare professionals
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.
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.
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.
We send all relevant documents electronically to you and your patient as soon as you have registered through our website.
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.
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.
Sometimes, an operation is neither necessary nor possible. In such cases, we can try to create a patient-specific cell culture from biopsy material.
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.