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MQONCO006

ALK by FISH

Specimen: Tumor FFPE block

Method: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)

Temperature Requirement: Ambient temperature

Reported on: 810 Working Days

General Instructions: Please provide a copy of the pathology report

ALK (Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase) is a gene associated with the development of certain cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Abnormalities in the ALK gene, such as gene rearrangements or translocations, can lead to the overactivation of the ALK protein, promoting uncontrolled cell growth and cancer development. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) is a molecular technique used to detect and assess ALK gene abnormalities in cancer cells. Here’s how ALK testing by FISH works:

 

  • Sample Collection: A tissue sample, typically obtained through a biopsy or surgical procedure, is collected from the patient. This tissue sample contains cancer cells.
  • Tissue Preparation: The collected tissue sample is processed and prepared for FISH analysis. This may involve fixing the tissue and preparing thin sections on glass slides.
  • FISH Probe Preparation: Specific DNA probes are designed to target the ALK gene region. These probes are labeled with fluorescent molecules that emit distinct colors when exposed to specific wavelengths of light.
  • Hybridization: The tissue sample is incubated with the DNA probes. If there are abnormalities in the ALK gene, such as translocations or rearrangements, the DNA probes will bind to the corresponding target sequences.
  • Fluorescent Labeling: When the DNA probes bind to the target ALK gene sequences, they emit fluorescent signals. These signals can be visualized and analyzed using a fluorescent microscope.
  • Imaging and Analysis: The tissue sample is examined under the fluorescent microscope. The number and pattern of fluorescent signals are assessed. Abnormalities, such as ALK gene rearrangements, are identified based on the presence of altered patterns of fluorescence signals.

ALK FISH testing is particularly important in the diagnosis and treatment of NSCLC and ALCL. In NSCLC, the detection of ALK gene rearrangements is crucial for identifying patients who may benefit from targeted therapies, such as ALK inhibitors like crizotinib, alectinib, or ceritinib. These drugs are specifically designed to block the activity of the overactive ALK protein and can lead to improved treatment outcomes in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

In ALCL, ALK gene rearrangements are a hallmark genetic alteration and play a key role in the diagnosis of this subtype of lymphoma. Confirming the presence of ALK gene abnormalities can aid in the accurate diagnosis and classification of the lymphoma, which can have implications for treatment decisions.

The results of ALK FISH testing provide critical information about the genetic characteristics of cancer cells and help guide treatment decisions. As with other FISH tests, the interpretation of ALK FISH results should be performed by experienced pathologists or oncologists who are familiar with the clinical context and guidelines for the specific cancer being evaluated. The results are often used in combination with other diagnostic and prognostic factors to tailor treatment plans for individual patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Preventive Health Checkup?
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What is included in Preventive Health Checkup?
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Why is it important to do preventive screenings?
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Which Health Checkup is good?
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What are the types of health screening?
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Explain the complete process involved
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