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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Specimen requirements - molecular haematology - somatic analysis / acquired cancer

Refer to the specimen requirements and referring samples page for general information (including high risk samples and labelling and packaging requirements).

Details of specific sample requirements for molecular genetic tests in the context of acquired cancer testing are provided below.

Blood samples - DNA extraction and molecular testing

  • EDTA tubes only
  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated) to arrive within three days of collection
  • Volume: Adults >4mls, Children >2mls, Fetal/Neonates 1ml

Blood samples - for RNA extraction

  • EDTA tubes only
  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated) to arrive within three days of collection (send by courier if necessary; delay will lead to loss of RNA within cells)
  • Volume: 8ml-20ml

cDNA samples

  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated)
  • Volume: >30ul - contact us for more information
  • Further information: overnight courier transport is preferable for MRD analysis

Bone marrow aspirate

  • EDTA tubes only
  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated) to arrive within three days of collection

Fixed tissues and tissue slides (FFPE)

  • For Cancer Genetics: Ten unstained serial slides with 5 micron (µm) thick sections (or five if marked tumour area >2cm2 or up to 15 for very small samples) mounted on plain glass slides. Multiple sections can be placed on a single slide
  • For Clonality: Five rolled sections 10µm thick can be also sent for clonality testing
    • Microtome blade and water-bath should be cleaned thoroughly before cutting sections to avoid cross-contamination and false positive results
      Please also include a H&E stained slide from the same block with the tumour boundary marked. Percentage of neoplastic content in the marked area should be >30 percent
      (Samples from which the tumours content areas is less than <30 percent may be tested, but the low tumours content will compromise the clinical sensitivity of the assay leading to potential false negative results)
  • Slides need to be in a slide box and packaged with sufficient padding
  • Alternatively a single core punch from the FFPE tissue block encompassing the area with the highest density of malignant cells can be sent (along with an estimation of tumour percentage in that region)
  • Cytological material should be processed as FFPE tissue and sections provided as above, or the maximum available material (smears, touch preps etc) provided on slides
  • Tubes/slides should be labelled with at least two identifiers, preferably with the case number (cellular pathology reference) and patient surname
  • Transport at room temperature

DNA samples

  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated)
  • Volume: required amounts are dependent on the tests requested - as a guide NGS panel analysis needs 150ng at a concentration no less than 10ng/ul but less DNA is required for other tests - contact us for more information
  • Further information: overnight courier transport is preferable for urgent samples, e.g. for prenatal analysis; please notify the laboratory if DNA has been eluted into EDTA containing solution

Saliva samples

  • Oragene DNA collection vials (supplied on request by the lab)
  • Once the saliva sample has been mixed with the Oragene DNA solution it is stable at room temperature for a few years (refer to the manufacturer's collection protocol supplied with each kit)
  • Transport at room temperature (or refrigerated)
  • Volume: as per manufacturers collection protocol supplied with each kit
  • Further information: February 2021 the laboratories are not currently routinely accepting saliva samples due to COVID-19; please contact us for further details. Any referral must be discussed and agreed prior to sending

Notes

Additional samples types may be accepted for analysis.

For additional sample types please contact us to discuss specific specimen requirements prior to arranging specimen collection.