The Core Laboratory provides a broad array of routine and specialized clinical laboratory testing services available 24 hours/day on peripheral and arterial blood, urine, and other body fluids for patients throughout MD Anderson Cancer Center. A comprehensive selection of routine, high-volume automated chemistry tests as well as therapeutic drug monitoring and blood gas analysis are available employing state-of-the-art instrumentation that includes analytical laboratory automation, computer-assisted specimen storage and location, and automated chemistry workstations. Hematological disorders such as leukemias and lymphomas are assessed utilizing high-volume analyzers as well as manual counting methods. After diagnosis, additional tests may be performed to assess prognosis, progression of the disease and response to treatment. Testing for Coagulation disorders that lead to bleeding or thrombosis is available for both medical and surgical patients throughout MD Anderson.
The expertise of our Core Lab Technologists along with state-of-the-art equipment allows for a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and interpretation of disease states as detected in the various body fluid specimens analyzed and plays an integral role in meeting the mission of the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
The Section of General Services includes the specimen collecting service (inpatient and outpatient). All specimen collections for laboratory tests on blood and urine are coordinated by personnel in these areas on a 24/7-hour basis. Specially trained individuals are scheduled to coordinate and perform venous and arterial punctures, collect blood from central venous catheters (CVCs), and perform glucose screening. All staff in the section are responsible for collecting blood for research protocols, which have been approved by the Center Medical Director. The responsibility of the General Services Section is not only to collect specimens on a routine basis but also to ensure consistent phlebotomy quality and to evaluate new specimen collection devices, collection processes, and transport receptacles. Translational/Research goals have been largely confined to the areas of Process analysis and Clinical Safety and Effectiveness.
Specimen Processing is one of the first critical pre-analytical steps in laboratory medicine. Here patient samples are checked for proper identification, specimen integrity, and accessioned into laboratory computer system. Specimens are sorted and distributed to the appropriate testing areas. In addition to the trained personnel that handles specimens, our laboratory has an automated system for specimen handling. This system helps us to enhance our turnaround time performance by moving specimens as needed to centrifuges and then onto an automated delivery track. The laboratory operates 24/7. Specimen processing staff also processes, packs and ships a large volume of specimens that are sent to reference laboratories. In addition the “Call Center” supports the CORE lab for all incoming calls and requests.
Point of Care Testing (POCT) at MD Anderson is diagnostic testing at or near the site of patient care. The purpose of POCT is to bring the test conveniently to the patient and results immediately to the physician and the patient's care team. POCT is accomplished through the use of portable handheld devices (eg i-STAT and Glucometers) and test kits (eg. Gastroccults and Chem 10 dip strips). This POCT is a rapid growing discipline at MD Anderson.
The Microbiology laboratory is a CLIA certified and accredited by the College of American Pathologist, clinical diagnostic laboratory. We provide routine bacteriology along with specialized testing in Serology, Mycology, Mycobacteriology, and Virology. We provide identifications and susceptibilities for pathogenic organisms isolated from patient samples. We utilize both manual and automated systems to provide results. Our certified staff is highly trained and qualified to provide the testing for direct patient care. We also support the Infection Control Program at MD Anderson.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center Transfusion Service transfuses over 200,000 blood components (red blood cells, platelets, plasma, granulocytes, etc.) per year, and is considered the largest hospital-based Transfusion Services in the U.S. serving the needs of cancer patients. In addition to blood and blood components, the Transfusion Service acquires, stores and distributes all tissue used for clinical purposes, except for cord blood and stem cells.
Please visit the Tissue Transplantation Program page for more information and a link to the Tissue Transplantation Institutional Policy.
The section of Blood Donor Operations provides collection services of whole blood, plateletpheresis, granulocytes, autologous and therapeutic units.
We are the second largest collection facility in the city of Houston. We collect approximately 30,000 units of blood per year through our mobile and fixed site collection activities. We host over 500 collection drives throughout the greater Houston area. We also have two fixed sites in the Texas Medical Center which makes donating convenient.
Transfusion Medicine and Donor Center, hold blood component licenses from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are licensed under the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendments Act of 1988 (CLIA 88); and is accredited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB Institutional Member), the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
The HLA Typing Laboratory provides a full range of histocompatibility testing services that support the BMT program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. These services include not only intermediate and high resolution typing of all HLA loci, but also screening and identification of anti-HLA antigens, KIR typing, MIC-A typing, and monitoring the immune response in post-Bone Marrow Transplantation patients. The HLA Lab tests for both diagnostic support and for obtaining matched blood components. Red blood cell genotyping has also been recently implemented.
The laboratory is a leader in the field, being at the cutting edge not only in regard to technical and methodological questions, but also in regard to information management. The lab has created an information management infrastructure that has been the foundation for important outcome studies that evaluate the effect of HLA matching on the outcome of Bone Marrow Transplantation.
In addition to these clinical research activities, the laboratory is involved in addressing more fundamental, scientific questions like the study of population genetics of the HLA system, the definition of epitopes in the HLA molecular and the selection of peptides by different HLA molecules.