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pcr question

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#1 snickers


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:06 AM

Does anyone know how fresh a blood sample should be for testing bcr-abl pcr?  I went in on a Wed. early AM and the lab did not recieve it until Mon.  I think they may have sent it pony express.  I am worried because my pcr's have been increasing from pcru to .35 to .72 and waiting on the most recent results.  (i get tested every 3 mos.)


#2 Taylor



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Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:44 AM

Hi snickers,

This is way too long.  The sample will have degraded by then and will give poor results.  I have seen Trey say as a rule of thumb do not get a blood draw on Friday, maybe even Thursday, because the sample won't get processed until Monday, where it will have degraded.  With your sample being on a Wednesday, it will be really degraded.

#3 Trey


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 01:41 PM

Unless the sample is frozen (almost never is in "routine" PCRs) the cutoff is about 48 hours, and 36 hours or less is preferable.  The lab should respond with a result stated as "insufficient sample quality" or something similar if spoiled.  I would suggest you ask the Onc to re-accomplish it (and ask for an explanation for the poor shipping and/or handling procedures).

#4 lifeismusic


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 02:47 PM

Hi dd,

Just want to mention that my pcr's have been bouncing around a bit as well...

Sept. 10  .145,  December 10  undetectable,  July 11  .115, Sept 11 .245    I'll  retest later this month.  Two ocologists at the U of M masonic clinic did not view the July to Sept. increase as significant.  I was testing every six months and now I'm back to every three months.  I think others have experienced similar bouncing pcr patterns, but it makes me a little anxious.  I think Trey is right about the time frame of samples from clinic to lab.  I try to schedule lab appointments early in the week.  Sometimes it can take a week to get results, but I 'm pretty sure that the sample goes right to the lab at the University.


#5 Happycat


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:57 PM


I wouldn't trust the results.  I ship out lab samples (chemical ones) all the time, and we always plan around the weekend, holidays, even weather!  (High humidity can impact our results.) 

Ask the doctor's office when they normally ship out samples, and how long it should normally take to get to that lab.  Then time your blood draws around that.  I called my doctor's NP and confirmed that the lab they used should always get the sample within 24 h.  If I do an early afternoon blood draw, with the normal pickup times, it should be at the pathology lab and waiting for analysis by 8 am the next morning.



#6 Susan61


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:22 PM

Hi dd:  Something is wrong if they are taking that long to run your test.  I would not trust it at all the way yours is being done.  I go on Tues, because Mondays are so hectic at the lab  My results are back to my doctor by Thurs.  I have been using Quest Lab since day 1 for my testing.  I even went there once a long time ago on a Friday, not knowing about the weekend hold up on testing.  The lab girl told me she would run all my blood work but not my PCR.  She told me to come back on Monday to get it drawn so that it would be accurate.  When I worked at the doctors office, any blood that was drawn during the course of the day was picked up the same day, and taken to the lab for testing.  We got resuts back by the following morning on most of it, depending on what type of test was done.

      I would definitely speak to your Oncologist about this.


#7 Tedsey


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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:36 PM


I so don't feel alone now.  My PCRs have been fluxing too in a similar way.  I was .600 last Apr, .135 in Jul. and .285 in Aug.  Very scary to see any upward tick when one is not MMR.  So used to reading posts from people who are anxious about a few ticks up from a PCR with tons of zeros in it like, .0025 or less.  But, of course, I understand their worries; no doubt about that.  I was beginning to feel like I was the only one here who was not MMR.  BTW, I have been dx for 2 years now and praying that the Sprycel keeps this disease at bay.  Not a miracle pill for me, but it still appears to be working.  We shall see...  Waiting for my PCR done last Mon. to come in.  My onc says if it is higher, they will do a mutation test on me.  I cannot help but pray every day I get an email instead of a phone call.  Whenever the phone rings, I have a panic attack...

All the best to you and wishing you PCRU, yet again, and stay that way,


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