Malignancy - bone marrow and blood
Please collect fresh bone marrow aspirate (well mixed) in either heparinised medium or a lithium heparin (green cap) tube. Transport medium is available from the Cytogenetics Department upon request.
For blood samples, a 2~4ml sample in a lithium heparin (green cap) tube is required.
For lymph node/tumour samples please see malignancy - other tissue types.
Samples should ideally be sent to the Cytogenetics Department on the same day/next day. Where a delay is inevitable (such as over weekends) please store the sample in a refrigerator before sending on the next working day. For sample labelling and completion of referral form criteria please see referral requirements.
Acceptance and rejection criteria
Bone marrow samples
For samples received in the wrong tube, or clotted/haemolysed upon receipt, processing is usually attempted as the sample is not easily repeatable. However this may compromise the success or quality of the test.
Blood samples - leukaemia patients
For urgent referrals, if received in the wrong tube, or clotted/haemolysed, processing is usually attempted, however this may compromise the success or quality of the test. For a routine referral, the sample may be rejected and a repeat sample requested. FISH testing may be attempted on these samples.
Please note, samples from patients with suspected TB cannot be processed, please see high risk samples.
Referrals may be at diagnosis, for routine monitoring, at disease progression or at relapse for:
- Acute Myeloblastic leukaemia AML
- Acute Lymphoblastic leukaemia ALL
- Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia CML
- Myelodysplastic syndrome MDS
- Myeloproliferative Neoplasia MPD/MPN
- Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia CLL
- Bone marrow infiltration by cells from Tumour
Samples will be routinely processed for CD138 selection. Samples are only suitable for cell selection if there are more than 10% plasma cells present. FISH for IGH-FGFR3, TP53 and 1p/1q will be completed. Karyotyping is not the appropriate cytogenetic test for myeloma referrals. Samples can be archived after cell selection, before FISH, on request by the clinicians, pending further information.
The department offers karyotype analysis across most referral categories. FISH testing may be more appropriate for some categories, particularly when monitoring disease with a known abnormality.
We have a large number of FISH probes available, for full list see haematological fish probe list.
Many FISH tests are applied at the discretion of the laboratory as either an adjunct to karyotyping or as a stand-alone test dependent on referral reason or karyotypic finding without a requirement for direct clinical request. Where additional FISH testing is required please indicate this or contact the Cytogenetics Department to discuss your requirements.
- Urgent referrals - Final report 14 days, preliminary reports may be available earlier.
- Acute leukaemia at diagnosis or relapse
- Chronic myeloid leukaemia at diagnosis or disease progression
- Clinical request
- Clinical Need - Final report 14 days
- CLLs with therapy resistant disease TP53/ATM screen
- Routine referrals - Final report 21 days
- Monitoring referrals
- Myeloma FISH referrals
Samples will be processed and archived if the reason for referral is non-specific or at clinical request. These samples will be re-activated for karyotype analysis or FISH on request from referring clinician.
Lymphoma referrals will be archived pending information regarding bone marrow aspirate involvement but please note tumour tissue is more reliable in these cases.
Please see our malignancy limitations of testing.
Storage and future testing
Fixed material from all bone marrow and leukaemic blood referrals is stored after reporting for 10 years for possible future testing.
Page last updated 20/02/2018. Please note that if printed, the information is only valid on the day of printing.