Molecular Pathology and Molecular Hematology

Molecular Pathology

Molecular pathology performs testing of DNA and RNA specimens to provide diagnostic and predictive information to laboratory physician and clinicians, in order to help guide optimal care for patients with cancer and other diseases. The Molecular Pathology Lab (MPL) performs complex testing of cancer genes, genomic alterations and pathogens from tissue, blood or fluid specimens.

Molecular pathology is a discipline within pathology which is focused in the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of molecules within organs, tissues or bodily fluids. Molecular pathology shares some aspects of practice with both anatomic pathology and clinical pathology, molecular biology, biochemistry, proteomics and genetics, and is sometimes considered a "crossover" discipline. It is multi-disciplinary in nature and focuses mainly on the sub-microscopic aspects of disease. A key consideration is that more accurate diagnosis is possible when the diagnosis is based on both the morphologic changes in tissues (traditional anatomic pathology) and on molecular testing.

Molecular Hematology

The Molecular Hematology Laboratory provided advanced molecular and biochemical testing in the areas of molecular analysis for diagnosis of alpha thalassemia and inherited disorders of coagulation, and the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with hematologic malignancies.

The laboratory provides advanced molecular analysis (e.g. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)) for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms and leukemia’s. This includes monitoring patients for treatment response after tyrosine kinase inhibitors or chemotherapy, and disease recurrence and graft survival after bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

Services in Alberta are organized as a Provincial Program under Alberta Precision Laboratories and provides services for Alberta as well as areas of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Aside from performing complex molecular diagnostic testing, the MPL develops new tests, provides contract molecular diagnostic testing to researchers, provides consultative services to other diagnostic and research laboratories, and participates in the education of undergraduate science and medical students, graduate students and postgraduate medical residents and fellows. Members of the MPL provide continuing medical education on topics in the areas of molecular biology and molecular diagnostics to technologists, graduate and post-graduate science and medical students, and medical staff and Faculty.

With the recent merger/consolidation of Molecular Pathology/Molecular Hematology Labs in the province as a Provincial Program, we plan to create structure, strategy, and policies that result in efficient and effective utilization of resources, foster operational excellence and staff engagement, and deliver high quality and safe patient care.

Alberta Molecular Pathology Program Organization Chart

Requisitions and Resources

Guide to Ordering Molecular Tests

Molecular Pathology Requisition Edmonton and Area

REQ9038AP Molecular Pathology Requisition Calgary

Agena Colon Panel Version 1.0

Agena Lung Panel Version 1.1

Agena UltraSEEK Lung Panel Version 1.0

Agena Melanoma Panel Version 1.0

MPL Custom Neuro Panel Version 1.2

MPL Custom Sarcoma Panel Version 1.0

Thyrospec Panel Version 1.0

Lung Cancer Biomarker Testing

Biomarker (BRAF) Testing on High-Risk Melanoma Patients - for Oncologists

Molecular Pathology Tests

Lymphocyte Receptor Gene Rearrangement/Translocation

  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain
  • T-Cell Receptor
  • Bcl-1 t(11; 14)
  • Bcl-2 t(14; 18)
  • IgH Somatic Hypermutational Status

Viral and Bacterial Pathogen Detection

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV 1 & 2)
  • Varicella Zoster Virus
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Parvovirus B19
  • Mycobacterium spp (MTB Complex)
  • Human Polyomavirus (BK and JC)
  • Human Papillomavirus (Low risk subtypes 6 and 11: High risk subtypes 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 67, 68 and 73)

Mutation Analysis

  • EGFR, BRAF, KRAS and PIK3CA (Lung Panel)
  • T790M EGFR (blood only)
  • KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, EGFR and PIK3CA (Colon Panel)
  • BRAF, NRAS, KRAS, HRAS, KIT, GNA11, GNAQ, PTEN, RAC, RPS27 and TERT (Melanoma/Thyroid Panel)
  • IDH1, IDH2, H3.3, TERT and TP53 (CNS/Neuro Panel)
  • CTNNB1, GNAS, KIT, PDGFRA, IDH1 and IDH2 (Sarcoma Panel)

Translocation Analysis

  • ALK, ROS and RET (Lung Fusion Panel, only for confirmation of IHC)

Microsatellite Analysis

  • Microsatellite Instability
  • 1p/19q Loss of Heterozygosity (Oligodendroglioma)

Epigenetics (Methylation)

  • MGMT Promoter Methylation

Human DNA Identity Testing

  • Identity/Contamination Test