HematoLogics is not a routine reference lab. We are an internationally recognized consultative hematopathology service and investigative research lab that develops and applies new methods and applications for your patients. Once tests are finalized the patient sample is still very important to us. As we test we consider what might be needed in the future to address not only the current diagnosis, but what could be important for monitoring future response to treatment, residual disease and relapse. The patient’s sample is important now and in the future. HematoLogics therefore provides several services at no charge.
Retrospect DNA Archiving
When abnormal results are identified by flow cytometry, DNA is isolated from the sample and stored. This allows use for future molecular analysis for all diagnostic B- and T- cell gene rearrangements, providing you the opportunity to compare a more recent sample with the original diagnostic specimen. Minimal Disease detection and confirmatory testing on difficult specimens can be performed.
After performing cytogenetic analysis, HematoLogics archives the remaining specimen so that if necessary, FISH and molecular genetic studies can be performed in the future. When properly stored, the sample is stable for several years.
Lymph node or Other Solid Tumor “Set Up and Hold” Archiving
In several instances, a call has been received by HematoLogics asking if cytogenetic analysis can still be performed on a lymph node or solid tumor that was not ordered initially with flow cytometry. If the sample is more than a few days old, this may not be an option due to decreasing tumor cell viability. For this reason, if material is available, HematoLogics cytogenetics laboratory will process the specimen and archive it. Cytogenetic analysis can be performed on the specimen, but do degrade over time. Follow-up cytogenetic orders are time sensitive and the window of opportunity is only a couple of weeks. However, FISH studies or molecular testing can be run outside that shorter time frame.
Bone Marrow and Lymph nodes are valuable specimens, and difficult to obtain. Providing careful specimen handling results is the best patient care, and allows you an opportunity to discover what is happening with your patient on an ongoing basis. The sample may hold the answer to questions that may be asked in the future. To make sure you get this second chance, work with a group that is thinking about the future of your patient during diagnosis. Archived samples can help you monitor response, find residual disease and identify early relapse. It could show clonal changes that may occur overtime, indicating changing or progressive disease.