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The Cancer Molecular Diagnostics (CMD) Laboratory provides a molecular testing service for the identification of genetic abnormalities and the assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) in cancer patients.

  • The Cancer Molecular Diagnostics (CMD) Laboratory provides an extensive range of specialised molecular analyses. Laboratory tests are organised into the following sections:

    • Molecular analysis of leukaemia
    • Chimaerism analysis post allogenic stem cell transplantation
    • Provenance analysis
    • Molecular analysis of lymphoproliferative disorders / carcinomas / sarcomas
    • Molecular analysis of solid tumours

    The department is accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board. The laboratory participates in the following external quality assurance programmes:

    • UK NEQAS Molecular Diagnostics of Haematological Malignancies
    • PCR Clonality QC Scheme for evaluation of Lymphoproliferative disorders.

    Research and development of new diagnostic targets and molecular techniques is an essential component of CMD. Research activities are focused on areas of investigation which complement and enhance the services offered.

  • A service level agreement (SLA) or referral through St James’s Hospital haematology or histopathology clinical teams is required to access the service.

  • Samples for testing in the laboratory should be received in the laboratory before 3.30pm from Monday to Friday.

    All samples for RNA based tests must be received by the laboratory within 24 hours.

    Please see our LabMed User Guide for further information

  • CMD request form must accompany all samples sent for analysis.

    Peripheral Blood/Bone Marrow

    DNA based assays
    Although certain molecular tests can be performed on very small amounts of material, the preferred sample is 9 mL of peripheral blood (PB) in EDTA, or 1-3 mL of bone marrow (BM) in RPMI (1:3) dilution. For chimaerism subset analysis, samples must arrive in the CMD laboratory before 11am and prior notification is required.

    RNA based assays
    Samples requiring RNA analysis should reach the CMD Laboratory within 24 hours of collection and before 3.30pm on Fridays, to facilitate same-day processing. If any delay is anticipated, samples should be stored at 4ºC. For real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) of BCR-ABL in patients receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy (for example, Imatinib Mesylate), peripheral blood (PB) samples are preferable for analysis. 

    Fresh tissue – samples from external hospitals
    Lymph node biopsies and other tissue specimens should be sent to the CMD Laboratory as fresh, unfixed tissue in saline-dampened gauze on ice, within 24 hours of the sample being taken.

    Fixed tissue – samples from external hospitals
    Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue may be sent to the CMD Laboratory if fresh tissue is unavailable. Samples fixed in Bouin’s reagent are not suitable for analysis. If pathological review is also required, please contact the relevant histopathologist.

    Lymphoma samples
    There are special requirements for lymphoproliferative analysis. Please enclose the following with the sample: 

    • Immunoglobulin/T cell receptor gene rearrangements from PB/BM 
    • Immunophenotyping report· Stained morphology slide
    • Immunoglobulin/T cell receptor gene rearrangements from fresh tissue/paraffin embedded tissue
    • 2 H+E slides of the relevant material
    • Accompanying histology reports
    • Full patient clinical history
    • For t(14;18) BCL2-JH and t(11;14) BCL1-JH analysis please send the original formalin fixed paraffin embedded material of the primary involved site together with the BM sample

    Solid Tumour Samples
    All samples should be submitted as FFPE blocks with an accompanying H&E slide. The H&E stained slide must be representative of the material in the block, so a recent H&E is advised. The slide will be held in the CMD Laboratory in case the result needs to be queried in the future, for this reason a slide cut specifically for molecular testing is advised. Full details of our solid tumour service can be found in the accompanying handboock Solid Tumour Service.

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm

How to find us

First floor, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, Trinity Centre for Health Science

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