Cytogenetics provides important information that can help in the management of cancer and potential cancer patients.
Cytogenetic investigations are useful on several levels.
Cytogenetic results may be used to confirm diagnosis, to provide information relevant to prognosis, to identify clonality, and can give evidence of which cell lineage is involved in a neoplastic process. Accurate diagnosis has an important impact on how the patient is treated. The identification of cytogenetic abnormalities can help to stratify patients into favourable, intermediate and poor prognostic groups-this in turn will influence treatment.
At follow up
Subsequent to diagnosis, chromosome analysis can be used to monitor remission following treatment (provided an abnormality was identified at diagnosis), in disease progression (manifest as additional abnormalities) and in relapse. In some circumstances e.g. with a sex mismatched donor-we can monitor patient progress after allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant. Sample Requirements Chromosome analysis is carried out for leukaemia, Myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) Myelodysplastic Disorders (MDS) and other blood disorders-mainly from bone marrow specimens but occasionally from leukapheresis, trephine or peripheral blood samples. Solid tumours, including lymph nodes (the preferred sample type in suspected lymphoma cases) are also part of our diagnostic workload. Where appropriate there is support from our molecular cytogenetic section to carry out relevant FISH testing. We supply Transport Media to wards/clinics wishing to send a sample for analysis. In order to optimise success, it is vital that we receive specimens as soon as possible after they are taken-ideally on the same day.
Cytogenetic results from urgent samples (newly diagnosed CML and acute leukaemia) are normally available within 7-14 days and we aim to process all other samples within 3 weeks from receipt, though solid tumour result may take longer.