About Us

The Victorian Cancer Cytogenetics Service

Overview

The Victorian Cancer Cytogenetics service is a fully NATA/RCPA accredited laboratory which provides a state wide service for cancer cytogenetic analysis.

Cytogenetics has become an integral part of the management of haematological and other malignancies by providing important diagnostic and prognostic information. As a marker of disease status cytogenetics can be used to assess remission or relapse, including the monitoring of patients post bone marrow transplantation.  

 

skddaith_7132624194292266032

 


How to contact us

The department is located on the 2nd floor of St.Vincent's Main Hospital Building.
Should any questions arise regarding a specimen, test, or a result, please contact the VCCS on 9231 4154 for consultation with the director Dr Meaghan Wall, or the principal scientist Fran O’Malley.

Cytogenetic tests performed by VCCS

  • G-Banded Chromosome analysis
  • Fluorescence In-situ Hybridisation (FISH) analysis (see attached list of clinical settings)
  • M-Band and M-FISH analysis (where relevant)
  • Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissue (FFPE) FISH (after consultation)

Specimen Delivery to VCCS

All specimens are to be addressed and delivered to:

Pathology Specimen Reception, Att’n: Victorian Cancer Cytogenetics Service
2nd Floor, Building A - Main Hospital Building, St Vincent’s Hospital
Princes Street
Fitzroy, 3065
Telephone: 9231 4154.

  • All specimens must be accompanied by a signed request form with cytogenetics clearly requested.
  • Specimens sent Monday to Friday should reach the department no later than 5.00p.m.
  • If taken later in the day, keep specimen at room temperature (RT) and send to department the next morning.
  • Ensure specimen is not exposed to extremes of temperature during transit.

NOTE: Do NOT place on ice!

  • Specimens taken late Friday may be sent overnight, to arrive on Saturday.
  • If taken at the weekend or on a Public Holiday, keep the specimen at RT; send first thing the next working day.
  • New leukaemia samples must be handled on the same day as obtained. Therefore, if taken after hours, contact St. Vincent’s
  • Hospital for the pathologist/scientist on call.

Urgent Results

If an urgent result is required, please follow-up the despatch of the specimen with a telephone call to the department and the specimen will be processed more rapidly.

An urgent result may be provided within 24-48 hours. Completed analysis with banding should take no more than 5 days.

Specimen types accepted by VCCS

  • Bone marrow
  • Peripheral blood
  • Lymph node
  • Trephine
  • Paraffin Embedded Tissue (PET) (after consultation)

Minimum Specimen Labelling Requirements

  • Label sterile tube with patient’s name (surname and first name), sex, date of birth, UR number, date specimen taken.
  • Place in biohazard bag together with completed interhospital referral form (obtainable from VCCS).

Sample Collection

Bone Marrow

  • Bone marrow (0.5 – 1.0mL) is collected into a sterile tube containing lithium or sodium heparin without gel or beads.

Blood Specimens

  • Peripheral blood (5-10mL) is collected into a sterile tube containing lithium or sodium heparin without gel or beads. These tubes are commercially available, but if unobtainable a sterile plain 10mL tube with 1000IU/mL of liquid sodium heparin added, will suffice.
  • EDTA tubes are NOT acceptable.

Trephine

  • In the absence of adequate aspirated bone marrow specimen, a small piece of trephine may be sent in the same collection tube as for bone marrow or blood but with a covering of tissue culture medium for transport.
  • As trephine cultures are often unsuccessful, a preferred tissue for culture may be peripheral blood (PB) for acute leukaemias or lymphoproliferative disorders if there is a significant abnormal cell population in PB.

Lymph Nodes

  • Specimens should be from a viable area of tumor and kept sterile at all times.
  • Fresh unfixed specimens should be placed into clearly labelled containers containing RPMI, PBS or viral transport medium and kept at room temperature and transported to the laboratory ASAP.
  • Note: Specimens taken from areas of necrosis or normal tissue or from a heavily irradiated area are not appropriate for cytogenetic analysis.

FISH on paraffin-embedded tissue


Mission Statement

We aim to provide a comprehensive cancer cytogenetics service to the State of Victoria with a commitment to quality and efficiency of service.  We are also committed to providing education and to continuing research in the areas of cancer cytogenetics and molecular genetics.

vccs_l1_5011928989573325563