Specimens

Specimen and Test Types

CGL Specimen Types

Multiple Test Ordering

Individual specimens cannot be split into more than one test type.  Therefore, a compatible specimen type (see table above) is required for each test type that is requested.  See our FAQ for more details and contact the laboratory with any additional questions.

Specimen Types

Bone Marrow

  • Ship at room temperature – do not allow to freeze
  • Maximum transit time from collection
    • RNA-based tests: 48 hours
    • Cytogenetics: 3 days
    • DNA-based tests: 6 days
Cytogenetics Testing:
Bone Marrow Aspirate (in Transport Media) or

Fresh Core (in Transport Media)
Molecular Testing:
Bone Marrow Aspirate (in EDTA)

To request media:
  • call 604-877-6000 ext 67-2094Refrigerate at 4°C upon receivingDo not use if past expiry date
Aspirate:
  • Add 1.0 mL from the first aspirate to the first media tubeAdd 1.0 mL from the second aspirate to the second media tubeLabel tubes accordingly
Core:
  • Suspend core in transport media
Exception for Multiple Myeloma FISH – Plasma cell isolation is performed on the specimen prior to testing. If additional tests are requested, a second specimen is required.
For DNA-based testing:
  • Collect 0.5mL in EDTA tube
For RNA-based testing
  • Collect 5mL (preferably) in EDTA tube

Peripheral blood

  • Ship at room temperature – do not allow to freeze
  • Maximum transit time from collection
    • RNA-based tests: 48 hours
    • Cytogenetics: 3 days
    • DNA-based tests: 7 days
Sodium HeparinEDTA
NOTE: Heparin inhibits PCR, making this specimen type incompatible with DNA-based and RNA-based molecular tests

For Cytogenetics testing
  • Collect 1x6mL tube
For DNA-based or cytogenetics testing
  • Collect 1 tube
For RNA-based testing
  • Collect 4 tubes (20mL)

FFPE Tissue

  • Select specimens that are the most recent and most representative of the patient’s current disease or the reason for testing.
    • The quality of DNA in FFPE-preserved tissues degrades over time
    • Genetic features may change due to disease evolution (e.g. between primary and metastasis)
  • Cytology specimens (FNA, pleural fluid) are acceptable if preserved in an FFPE block
  • Samples fixed in Bouin’s reagent, acid decalcified, or processed with other acidic reagents are not suitable
  • Minimum required tumour content is approximately 10-20%
    • See test descriptions for specific minimum tumour requirements       
  • FFPE blocks will be sectioned or macrodissected (cored) depending on tumour distribution
FISHMolecular
  • Unstained slides or specimen blocks are acceptable
  • An H&E stained slide with the tumour region circled should accompany each specimen block or set of unstained slides.
  • Note the tumour content and cellularity of the circled region on the completed requisition.
  • Specimen block must be sent – unstained slides cannot be tested.

Cytogenetics Pellet

  • Cultured and fixed cells from previous cytogenetics testing can be used for follow-up FISH or molecular tests.
  • Due to the culturing process following specimen collection, cytogenetics pellets are not suitable specimens for B/T-cell clonality testing.
  • For cytogenetics pellets from testing performed at CGL:
  • For cytogenetics pellets from testing performed at another cytogenetics laboratory:

Plasma (ctDNA)

  • Must be collected in Streck cfDNA tubes
  • Ship at room temperature – do not allow to freeze
  • Maximum transit time from collection: 5 days
  • To order Streck tubes, please contact the laboratory

Other

  • In exceptional circumstances, testing may be possible on other specimen types. Please contact the laboratory prior to requesting testing or sending a specimen.

Shipping

Requested testingAddress
  • Hematological
  • FFPE specimens for FISH
Cancer Genetics and Genomics Laboratory
BC Cancer
Room #3307 – 600 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 4E6
  • FFPE specimens for Molecular
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
BC Cancer
Room #3225 – 600 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 4E6
  • Chimerism (Post-transplant)
Stem Cell Assay – Terry Fox Laboratory
675 West 10th Ave.
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 1L3