Oncology Information and Courses from MediaLab, Inc.
These are the MediaLab courses that cover Oncology and links to relevant pages within the course.
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|Introduction to Bone Marrow Aspirates and Biopsies|
Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy are standard tools used in the hematology laboratory to aid in the evaluation and diagnosis of peripheral blood abnormalities. Some of these abnormalities include: cytopenias (such as neutropenia), thrombocytopenia and anemias. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsies are also used by hematology/oncology specialists in the diagnosis of leukemias, dysplastic syndromes, and proliferative syndromes. A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy may also be part of the evaluation of fever of unknown origin (FUO), failure to thrive(FTT) in the pediatric setting, as well as some metabolic and genetic disorders.A bone marrow aspirate sample is obtained by inserting a needle into the bone marrow space and withdrawing 5- 10 milliliters (mL) of marrow in several different syringes. These samples are then transferred to evacuated blood collection tubes containing the anticoagulants required for the types of assays desired. A portion of this liquid marrow is smeared for staining and evaluation under light microscopy. It can be sent for various types of laboratory assessment including : immunophenotyping, cytogenetic evaluation, and molecular analysis.While bone marrow aspirations and biopsies are usually obtained by the hematologist or oncologist, they are evaluated and interpreted by a hematopathologist with the assistance of the laboratory technologists who prepare and stain the smears. In many laboratory settings the technologists also perform the bone marrow differentials.
|Clinical Laboratory's Role: Bone Marrow Aspirates and Biopsies|
While the role of the hematopathologist in the interpretation of bone marrow samples is well defined, the role of the technologist can vary greatly depending on the laboratory and the clinical setting.In some cases, physicians deliver prepared bone marrow smears to the laboratory that they have been prepared at the patient's bedside . In other settings, the technologist assists in the bone marrow collection procedure by making bone marrow smears at the bedside. There are also situations where a physician will bring anticoagulated bone marrow in specimen tubes to the laboratory for the technologist to smear, stain, and distribute as the hematopathologist requires.Once the marrow smears are prepared and stained, the next steps will vary depending on the laboratory. In some institutions it may be the hematology or oncology fellows/attending physicians who are responsible for counting and evaluating the aspirate smears, while the biopsy samples go to pathology. In other settings it may be the technologists who perform the differentials while hematopathology completes the evaluation and interpretation.
|Uses of CE in Molecular Diagnostics|
Molecular diagnostic techniques utilize capillary electrophoresis, CE, extensively. Automation, microvolume sample, increased sensitivity, immediate detection, and the computerization provided by CE enhance the analysis of nucleic acids. A multiple fluorescence detection system available with CE is also valuable.CE analysis of short tandem repeat polymorphisms is used in forensics, parentage testing, bone marrow engraftment analysis and other identification assays. Other testing for diagnosis of genetic diseases, oncology studies and DNA sequencing frequently utilize CE. DNA sequencing uses CE for separation of nucleotides labeled with multiple colored fluorescence dyes; CE and these markers enable computerized determination of the nucleotide sequence of DNA segments.