Testing: Tissue Testing

When a biopsy is taken from a tumor, the tissue must be analyzed for cell abnormalities to determine if it is cancerous and malignant. Analysis also reveals the type of cancer the patient has.

The first type of test uses a process called flow cytometry. Flow cytometry is done in a high-tech machine. The process sorts through the cells from the biopsy and examines them for certain cell markers that are found in the membranes of cells. These markers, called clusters of differentiation (CD), identify certain types of cancer cells.

Call

The second test examines the DNA of biopsied cells. Laboratory technicians examine DNA for genetic abnormalities. These abnormalities cause the mutations in cancerous cells, which causes them to grow faster than normal, healthy cells, thus creating a tumor. Identification of these abnormalities helps classify cancer.

Once the biopsied tissue is examined using both of these techniques, the doctor can identify the type of cancer a patient has and then perform the necessary tests to stage the disease.

These tests are also useful in determining the type of treatment to give a patient. Some cell markers bind with antibodies – "tags" that mark the cell for removal by the immune system – so immunotherapy can be used. For more information on this type of treatment, please see the article titled Monoclonal Antibody Therapy.

Dive Deeper

For more information on Hodgkin's disease, please see the following pages

For more information on Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, please see the following pages:

Call

More Articles

More Articles

This entry looks at Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the lungs, clinically known as pulmonary lymphoma, one of the subtypes of lymphoma. 'Lymphoma' is an...

In order to prevent developing any subtype of lymphoma, it would be helpful to know the causes of lymphoma. Unfortunately, in virtually every case...

BEAM chemotherapy is an acronym representing a small family of combination chemotherapy regimens that are used chiefly as salvage regimens in the...

There are two types of cancer: benign and malignant. Benign cancers are the kind that don't spread and don't threaten one's life. Malignant...

The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR - sometimes called sed rate or sedimentation rate) is a nonspecific screening test for various...

Blood counts can be used to identify disease and monitor patient health during cancer treatments. Though these tests cannot diagnose lymphoma on...

MALT lymphoma is a rare B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that typically runs an indolent or slow-growing clinical...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is just one of 50-60 known B-cell subtypes of...

After some of the dust has settled, the thoughts of many new lymphoma patients turn to diet and nutrition. They want to know if, in the past,...

According to a study by Japanese researchers, the SMILE combination chemotherapy protocol is effective against extranodal natural killer/T-cell...

In a perfect world, every case of cancer would respond to, and be cured by first-line therapy. Unfortunately, it is not often the case. This is...

Patients treated with maintenance rituximab had three times longer progression-free survival. This is a summary of an article published in the...

Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid (a steroid) used in the treatment of many types of cancers. It functions as an anti-inflammatory medicine that...

In 1964, researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed the first combination chemotherapy that cured a...

Since so many chemotherapy agents can affect a patient’s sex drive and fertility, thinking about these issues prior...