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What Tests Will I Need and How Will They Help With My Diagnosis of ALL?

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Published on March 15, 2016

Dr. Elias Jabbour from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center describes some of the tests used to diagnose acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Blood tests and a bone marrow sample can be used in order to find specific cancer 'markers' that are used to diagnose patients with ALL. Other laboratory tests include karyotyping, molecular panels, and genome assessment. These tests are used to better understand the type of ALL that someone has and are able to help determine the best approach for treatment.

Recorded at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2015 Annual Meeting, at Orlando, FL.

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Transcript | Diagnostic tests for ALL

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Dr. Jabbour:

A patient with ALL will need a blood test, they need a bone marrow aspiration and exam so we’ll take a piece of the bone and we assess [?] the bone marrow and then we do some tests on the bone marrow.  Essentially we check for the kind of cells we do what we call immunohistochemistry to identify different, because the cancer cells express markers so there’s a combination of markers, we study them together and with these combinations can help us identify what kind of marker you have – T-cell, B-cells – and then we do the Karyotype, we check the chromosomes and then we do the molecular panel and we do, it’s not just standard of care but it may come in the next year, what we call genome assessment to see specific mutations or specific markers that we can follow them down the road to see how patients are responding.  And, ultimately, when you start chemotherapy we assess for what we call minimal disease assessment, that is important to us that can identify the good players from the bad players. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.