This diagnostics laboratory conducts tests for around 60 percent of all leukemia patients in Germany and will have analyzed a total of more than 90,000 samples this year. Even though all of these analyses are currently state of the art, Managing Director Prof. Dr. Dr. Torsten Haferlach is confident that completely new diagnostic methods will come to the fore in the near future. “We are on the verge of a technological leap that will be of a magnitude similar to the jump from a rotarydial phone to a smartphone.” The key driver behind this technological leap is the progress in decoding the human genome. “Back when we started, it was common for us to test 40 different genes for leukemia diagnoses. Today, there are more than 250,” explains Managing Director Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kern.
However, the top innovator in Bavaria is not content with merely going along with technological progress – instead, it wants to be a frontrunner and a pioneer. That is why the Managing Directors have built one of the largest gene sequencing unit in all of Europe and now have already analyzed the complete genome of 4,500 leukemia patients in the course of a research project. “The more precisely we can identify and describe the individual leukemia subgroups, the more accurately we will be able to treat them,” says Managing Director Prof. Dr. Claudia Haferlach. Alongside her fellow Managing Directors, she works in routine clinical diagnostics while regularly publishing the results of scientific research.
“We are very pleased with the award. After all, it shows that we are able to make an important contribution to medical progress using our approaches and our work,” adds Prof. Dr. Dr. Haferlach. With artificial intelligence, algorithms programmed inhouse, and intensive research, it will be possible in the future to provide even more accurate diagnoses and employ therapies tailormade for indi-vidual patients.