Biospecimen Processing and Submission Procedures

Welcome to the SWOG Cancer Research Network Biospecimen Bank (BB) specimen submission page for specimens submitted to the SWOG BB in Columbus, OH.

Note: this page includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

Specimen processing/shipping FAQ - Document will be available soon

For additional specimen submission questions, please contact the SWOG Data Operations Center at (206) 652-2267.

Click the links below to navigate to the specimen collection and shipping instructions.

Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation:

Important Notes
Specimen Labeling
Specimen Tracking System (STS/SpecTrack)
Packaging and Shipping

Specimen Processing and Submission Guidelines for:

Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) Tissue
Snap-Frozen Tissue, including Bone Marrow Biopsy Cores for Myeloma
Whole Blood (note: for leukemia specimens, see Leukemia below)
Processing Buffy Coat from Whole Blood
Processing Plasma from Whole Blood
Processing Serum from Whole Blood
Bone Marrow Aspirate

Additional Leukemia Specimen Processing and Submission Guidelines:

Additional Specimen Submission Instructions for Leukemia - Submitting Whole Blood and Bone Marrow

Submissions to Other Laboratories

Locating Submission Instructions for Laboratories Other Than the SWOG Biospecimen Repository

Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation

Important Notes

  1. Patient consent must be obtained, and the patient must be enrolled on study prior to shipping specimens.
  2. Any excess diagnostic specimens will be retained by SWOG and used according to the patient's designation for "future use", unless otherwise noted in the patient's consent form.
  3. Specifics regarding the submission of specimens (e.g., specimen type, quantity/volume, and timepoint(s)) can be found in Sections 9 and 15 of the treatment protocols.
  4. Reference the specimen processing FAQ (Document will be available soon) for some of the most frequently asked questions.

Specimen Labeling Notes

  1. All submitted specimens must be labeled with the:
    1. SWOG patient number
    2. Patient initials
    3. Collection date (date the specimen was collected from the patient)
    4. Specimen type-specific requirements also include:
      1. Liquid specimens:
        1. Include laterality if applicable (e.g., bone marrow aspirate from left iliac crest or BM-L)
      2. Solid tissue specimens:
        1. Include site of collection (e.g., Lymph node, left breast, liver, bone marrow from left iliac crest, etc.)
        2. Specify whether tissue is from primary (P), metastatic (M), or normal/uninvolved (N) site
        3. The Surgical Pathology ID # (Accession#) and block number (e.g., A2, 3E, 2-1, B, etc.) must be on both the specimen label and the pathology report in order for the Bank to adequately match the specimen with any findings in the pathology report.
  2. All slides and scrolls derived from FFPE block(s) should be labeled with thickness (in µm).
    1. Scrolls, also called curls, are sections cute from the FFPE block that are allowed to curl up. The scrolls are then placed into an RNase-free vial (if available), using clean forceps.
  3. All lymph node sections must include a + or - to clarify whether the node is positive or negative for tumor involvement.
  4. Instructions for Labeling Specimens
    1. Avery neon magenta high visibility labels (product number 5160 www.avery.com) are recommended. All dates need to be in the month/day/year format. If Avery 5160 labels are not available, then the label may be printed on regular paper and taped to the specimen container.
    2.  Large Labels (download large label template) – use for tissue specimens (FFPE or snap-frozen), including stained and unstained slides as well as blocks, scrolls, or other sections
      1. Labels may be typed or hand-written
      2. As noted above, it is very important to include the tissue type. These specimens must be labeled with P, M, or N. For FFPE blocks, pace the specimen in a small bag and apply the label on the outside of the bag. Do not place the label directly on the tissue block.
      3. For slides, labels can be placed directly on the slide container or on each individual slide. If placing only on the slide container, then the SWOG ID#, surgical pathology ID number (accession #) and block number must be included on each individual slide.
    3. Small Labels (download small label template) – use for fresh or frozen blood or bone marrow products (e.g., whole blood, plasma, serum, buffy coat, bone marrow and fresh or frozen urine.
      1. Specimen information may be typed or hand-written on the left side of the dotted line on printed labels.
      2. Trim the label along the dotted line on the printed label and place only this left portion of the label on the vial. Place a label on each vial submitted.
    4. Small Labels for Pharmacokinetic (PK) Specimens (download small label template) – use for all specimens collected for pharmacokinetic studies or other specimens requiring an exact collection time.
      1. Specimen information may be typed or hand-written on the left side of the dotted line on printed labels.
      2. Trim the label along the dotted line on the printed label and place only this left portion of the label on the vial. Place a label on each vial submitted.

Specimen Tracking System (STS/SpecTrack) Notes

  1. All submissions for patients on SWOG treatment or ancillary trials must be entered and tracked using the SWOG Online Specimen Tracking System (SpecTrack).
  2. SWOG members may log onto SpecTrack via the CRA Workbench using their SWOG roster ID number and password.Non-SWOG members may access SpecTrack using their CTSU UserID and password on the SpecTrack login page located at https://spectrack.crab.org (select the option "SWOG - SWOG - CTSU").
  3. SpecTrack laboratory IDs are used to identify the laboratories to which specimens are shipped.
  4. All specimens must be logged via this system; there are no exceptions.
    1. Note that each specimen type (e.g., blood, bone marrow, slides, scrolls, etc.) must be logged separately in SpecTrack, even if collected at the same time.
  5. Include a SWOG SpecTrack Packing List in every shipment, ensuring the information on the form exactly matches the specimens in the shipment (double-check the specimen labeling versus packing list). When sending paraffin materials or tissue, a pathology report corresponding to the specimen(s) submitted MUST be included with the shipment.

To report technical problems with SpecTrack, such as database errors or connectivity issues, please send an email to grpuavpnydhrfgvba/ng/peno/qbg/bet.

For procedural help with logging and shipping specimens, there is an introduction to the system on the Specimen Tracking main page.

For further assistance (e.g., editing or deleting shipments in SpecTrack), contact the Data Operations Center at 206-652-2267 to be routed to the Data Coordinator.

Packaging and Shipping Notes

  1. When batch shipping frozen specimens, only submit specimens for a maximum of five patients in each shipment. When more than one patient’s specimens are included in one batch, each patient’s specimens must be packaged separately.
  2. Package the shipment according to IATA shipping regulations.
    1. Packaging guidelines for ambient specimens:
      1. Specimens must be packaged to comply with IATA standards (www.iata.org).
      2. First, place the specimen in a leak proof biohazard envelope. Include an absorbent material if the specimen is liquid. Next, place the biohazard envelope in a puncture and pressure resistant envelope (e.g. Tyvek envelope).
      3. Place the packaged specimen in an appropriate shipping container (ex. FedEx box or clinical pack).
      4. Include required paperwork (e.g. SpecTrack-generated packing list(s)) in the shipment.
      5. Attach an "Exempt Human Specimen" label and a shipping label to the outside of the shipping container.
    2. Packaging guidelines for frozen specimens:
      1. Specimens must be packaged to comply with IATA standards (www.iata.org).
      2. First, place the specimen in a leak-proof biohazard envelope. Include an absorbent material. Next, place the biohazard envelope containing the specimen in a puncture and pressure resistant envelope (e.g. Tyvek envelope).
      3. Place the packaged specimen(s) in an appropriate shipping container (composed of an inner styrofoam and outer cardboard layer). Place a layer of dry ice in the bottom of the shipping container, then set the specimen on top of the dry ice. Cover the specimen with dry ice until the shipping container is full.
      4. Include required paperwork (e.g. SpecTrack-generated packing list(s)) in the shipment.
      5. Close the shipping container and tape shut. Do not completely seal the container. Complete a dry ice label. Attach an "Exempt Human Specimen" label and the dry ice label to the side of the shipping container.
      6. Attach a shipping label to the top of the shipping container.
    3. Ship specimens according to the standard shipping guidelines below:
      1. Shipping guidelines for ambient specimens:
        1. Ambient specimens should be shipped preferably using FedEx Priority Overnight service. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt.
        2. On Saturday, the Bank is only staffed to process fresh blood, bone marrow, and urine. No other specimen types should be submitted for Saturday delivery.
          1. All other specimen types must be shipped Monday through Thursday for delivery Tuesday through Friday.
          2. If specimens are shipped for Saturday delivery, then the airbill must be marked “For Saturday delivery.”
        3. Whenever possible, avoid shipping ambient specimens the day before a holiday.
        4. For questions about shipping specimens around a holiday, please reference the Bank’s holiday hours memo distributed by the Protocol Development office or call the Bank directly at 800-347-2486.
        5. During the months of April-September (or times of warm weather), ship fresh specimens on a refrigerated (not frozen) cold pack.
        6. During the months of October-March (or times of unusually cold weather), insulate fresh specimens to keep from freezing due to weather (i.e., wrap specimen in bubble wrap).
        7. For packaging instructions, refer to the ambient specimen packaging and shipping guidelines for ambient specimens.
      2. Shipping guidelines for frozen specimens:
        1. Ship frozen specimen(s) buried in dry ice. FedEx Priority Overnight service is preferred. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt and compromise specimen integrity.
          1. Note: a minimum of 5 lbs of dry ice should be used per shipment, and specimens should be completely buried with dry ice (i.e., fill the container 1/3 full, add the specimens, and then add dry ice to the top of the container).
        2. Frozen specimens may only be shipped Monday through Thursday to arrive Tuesday through Friday. Do NOT ship frozen specimens on a Friday or the day before a holiday.
        3. For questions about shipping specimens around a holiday, please reference the Bank's holiday hours memo distributed by the Protocol Department office or call the Bank directly at 800-347-2486.
        4. For packaging instructions, refer to the packaging and shipping guidelines for frozen specimens.
  3. Contact the SWOG Biospecimen Bank - Solid Tissue, Myeloma, and Lymphoma Division (Lab #201) with any questions regarding specimen and shipping instructions. The laboratory ID number, shipping address, and contact information for specimen submissions are:

Lab #201 Address:
SWOG Biospecimen Bank
Solid Tissue, Myeloma & Lymphoma Division
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Drive, WA1340
Columbus, Ohio 43205

Lab #201 Contact:
SWOG Biospecimen Bank
Phone: 614-722-2865
FAX: 614-722-2897
Email: ocponax/ng/angvbajvqrpuvyqeraf/qbg/bet

Lab #200 Address:
SWOG Biospecimen Bank
Leukemia Division
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
575 Children’s Crossroads, Room WB2255
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Lab #200 Contact:
Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Phone: 614-722-2866
FAX: 614-722-2887
Email: ztyno/ng/angvbajvqrpuvyqeraf/qbg/bet

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) Tissue

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol. Standard processing of Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue Block.

  1. Standard Instructions for Fixing Tissue Specimens
    1. Place the fresh tissue in formalin. Do not exceed 24 hours fixation time.
    2. Fixed tissue must be embedded in paraffin within 24 hours.
  2. Standard processing of Slides
    1. Slides may be submitted if the institution cannot release an FFPE tissue block.
    2. Cut sequential sections from the representative FFPE tissue block as indicated in the protocol. If these instructions are not in the protocol, then cut slides at 4-7 µm (“micron”) thickness on positively charged slides.
  3. Standard Instructions for Shipping FFPE Tissue Blocks and Slides:
    1. Include in shipment:
      1. Properly-labeled FFPE material (e.g. FFPE block, slides, scrolls, punches, etc.)
        1. Specimens should be labeled with:
          1. Site of collection (e.g. Lymph node, left breast, liver, bone marrow from left iliac crest, etc.)
          2. Tissue type: is from primary (P), metastatic (M), or normal/uninvolved (N) site
          3. Surgical Pathology ID # (Accession#) and block number (e.g., A2, 3E, 2-1, B, etc.) must be on both the specimen label and the pathology report in order for the Bank to adequately match the specimen with any findings in the pathology report.
          4. Patient ID #
          5. See specimen labeling section for additional information
      2. A copy of the corresponding pathology report indicating the morphological diagnosis. Verify that the report is labeled with the patient ID# and surgical pathology identification number.
      3. A copy of the packing/shipping list produced by the SWOG Online Specimen Tracking System.
    2. Prepare a shipment of paraffin-embedded tissue according to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.

NOTE: Paraffin tissue blocks and slides will NOT be returned to the submitting institution unless it is required for patient care. If the block is needed for patient care, a written request must be submitted to the bank with a rationale for the return. Approval for release of the block must be given by SWOG leadership before the block can be returned. If a site will have an issue with this requirement, the option to submit slides in place of the block should be considered.

FFPE

Figure 1. Standard formalin fixation and paraffin embedding process for FFPE specimen submission

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Snap-Frozen Tissue

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

Note: this section includes instructions for all solid tumors, including myeloma and lymphoma.

  1. Standard instructions for Collecting Tissue Specimens
    1. If the patient has consented, then a portion of snap-frozen tissue may be submitted for banking purposes, if indicated in the protocol.
      1. If the amount of frozen tissue requested is not specified in the protocol:
        1. For bone marrow biopsy core, the core should be 1-2 cm in length. Remove peripheral blood from the biopsy by touching the biopsy with a sterile swab.
        2. If bone marrow biopsy core is not requested, then collect > 5 mm3 (approximately "pea to almond size").
    2. Tissue should be free of tissue capsules (e.g., kidney capsule or membrane) and/or hair (e.g., scalp or skin lesions).
  2. Standard instructions for Snap Freezing Tissue
    1. Snap freeze tissue immediately after the biopsy for optimal antigen preservation. If tissue cannot be frozen within 15 minutes, then store at 4 degrees Celcius for a period of time no longer than 2 hours.
    2. Place pre-sectioned tissue on a piece of foil or in a pre-labeled, pre-chilled cryovial and snap freeze tissue on dry ice or in the vapor phase liquid nitrogen (do not submerge the tissue in liquid nitrogen). If dry ice or liquid nitrogen are not available, then freeze tissue in a -70 degree Celcius to -80 degree Celcius freezer.
    3. Pre-label an airtight zip lock plastic bag according to specimen labeling requirements. If an adhesive label is used, place the label on the inside of the bag.
    4. Place tissue wrapped in foil in the airtight zip lock plastic bag.
    5. Store snap frozen tissue in a liquid nitrogen freezer (at vapor phase) or a -70 degree Celcius to -80 degree Celcius freezer until ready to ship.
  3. Standard instructions for Shipping Snap Frozen Tissue:
    1. Ship frozen tissue buried in dry ice. FedEx Priority Overnight service is preferred. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt and compromise specimen integrity.
      1. Frozen specimens may only be shipped Monday through Thursday to arrive Tuesday through Friday. Do NOT ship frozen specimens the day before a holiday or on Friday.
      2. The corresponding pathology report (indicating the morphological diagnosis). Surgery date, SPID/Accession #, and patient ID # must be visible on the report.
      3. Prepare a shipment of snap frozen tissue according to the shipping guidelines for frozen specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Whole Blood

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting and Shipping Fresh Whole Blood Specimens
    1. Use the protocol-specified Vacutainer tube type.
      1. If your site does not have the recommended size of vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, then other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of blood (e.g., if 1 x 10 mL of blood is requested, then 2 x 5 mL tubes may be substituted).
      2. Avoid using < 3 mL collection tubes.
      3. Pre-label vacutainer tube(s) according to specimen labeling requirements.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and draw blood from the patient into the vacutainer tube(s). The amount of blood required will vary per protocol; refer to section 15 for required/requested collection volumes.
    3. Immediately after the blood is drawn, gently invert the tube 5-10 times to thoroughly mix the blood with the anticoagulant.
    4. Store whole blood prior to shipping at 4 degrees Celcius (40 degrees F). Do not freeze whole blood. If whole blood is stored longer than 24 hours, then note the storage time on the specimen shipping form.
    5. Whole blood should be shipped the day of collection, preferably using FedEx Priority Overnight service. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt.
      1. Fresh whole blood may be shipped Monday through Friday via Priority Overnight delivery to arrive Tuesday through Saturday.
        1. Saturday deli.very is only available for shipments of fresh blood.
        2. If specimens are shipped for Saturday delivery, then the airbill must be marked "For Saturday Delivery".
        3. Whenever possible, avoid collecting whole blood the day before a holiday.
        4. For questions about shipping specimens around a holiday, please reference the Bank's holiday hours memo distributed by the Protocol Development office or call the Bank directly at 800-347-2486.
    6. Prepare a shipment of whole blood according to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Buffy Coat and Plasma

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting, Processing, and Shipping Buffy Coat and Plasma Specimens
    1. Use the protocol-specified Vacutainer tube type.
      1. If your site does not have the recommended size of vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, then other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of blood (e.g., if 1 x 10 mL of blood is requested, then 2 x 5 mL tubes may be substituted).
      2. Avoid using < 3 mL collection tubes.
      3. Pre-label vacutainer tube(s) according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and draw blood from the patient into the vacutainer tube(s). The amount of blood required will vary per protocol; refer to section 15 for required/requested collection volumes.
    3. Immediately after the blood is drawn, gently invert the tube 5-10 times to thoroughly mix the blood with the anticoagulant.
    4. Blood must be processed within 2 hours after venipuncture unless otherwise noted in the protocol. Document on the specimen shipping form if the blood was not processed within 2 hours following venipuncture.
    5. Use aseptic techniques to process whole blood.
    6. Follow the instructions below for plasma collection:
      1. Centrifuge the vacutainer tube(s) at 1200 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature.
      2. Pre-label cryovials according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
      3. Using a sterile pipette, remove the plasma (yellow-clear liquid above the buffy coat and red blood cell layers). See Figure 2 below. No cells or debris should be present.
      4. Dispense 1 mL aliquots of plasma into the pre-labeled 2 mL-capacity cryovials and cap the tubes securely. If buffy coat is also required, then skip to step g.iii. below to remove the buffy layer.
      5. Immediately freeze vials in an upright position, buried in dry ice or in a -70 degree Celcius to -80 degree Celcius freezer until ready to ship.
    7. Follow the instructions below for buffy coat collection:
      1. Centrifuge vacutainer tube(s) at 1200 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature. Pre-label cryovials according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
      2. Using a sterile pipette, slowly remove the buffy coat (the thin, cloudy pin or gray-white layer located in between the red blood cells and the plasma; refer to figure below). Avoid aspirating the red blood cells while collecting the buffy coat.
      3. Aliquot the buffy coat equally into two 2 mL cryovials.
      4. Immediately freeze vials in an upright position, buried in dry ice or in a -70 degree Celcius to -80 degree Celcius freezer until ready to ship.
    8. Prepare a shipment of buffy coat and/or plasma according to the shipping guidelines for frozen specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.
Blood Processing

Figure 2. Standard blood processing overview for processing plasma and buffy coat

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Serum

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting and Processing Serum Specimens
    1. Use 10 mL red or red/black marble top (SST) vacutainer tubes with no anticoagulant to collect whole blood for serum processing.
      1. If your site does not have the size vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of blood (e.g., if 1 x 10 mL of blood is requested, then 2 x 5 mL tubes may be substituted).
      2. Avoid using < 3 mL collection tubes.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and draw blood from the patient.
    3. Follow the instructions below for serum collection:
      1. Allow blood to clot for 30-60 minutes at room temperature
      2. Centrifuge vacutainer tube(s) at 1200 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature.
      3. Pre-label cryovials according the specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
      4. Using a sterile pipette, remove serum (yellow-clear liquid above clot).
      5. Dispense 1 mL aliquots of serum into the pre-labeled 2 mL cryovials and cap the tubes securely.
      6. Immediately freeze vials in a upright position in a -70 degree Celcius to -80 degree Celcius freezer until ready to ship
    4. Prepare a shipment of serum according to the shipping guidelines for frozen specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Bone Marrow

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting Fresh Bone Marrow Specimens
    1. Use green top vacutainer tubes with sodium heparin to collect bone marrow aspirate.
      1. If your site does not have the recommended size of vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of bone marrow (e.g., if 1 x 10 mL of blood is requested, then 2 x 5 mL tubes may be substituted).
      2. Pre-label vacutainer tube(s) according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and collect 3-4 mL of bone marrow aspirate into the vacutainer tube(s).
    3. Immediately after the bone marrow is collected, gently invert the tube 5-10 times to mix the bone marrow with the anticoagulant.
    4. If the amount of bone marrow specified by the protocol cannot be obtained on any individual patient, then send the amount available. Note on the specimen shipping form if required amount was not obtained.
    5. Bone marrow aspirate should be shipped as soon as possible to optimize cell viability. If bone marrow aspirate cannot be shipped immediately after collection, then store at 4 degrees Celcius (40 degrees F) until shipment. Do not freeze the bone marrow. Storage time longer than 24 hours can greatly impact specimen quality and should be noted on the specimen shipping form.
  2. Standard Instructions for Shipping Fresh Bone Marrow Aspirate
    1. Prepare a shipment of bone marrow aspirate according to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.

Additional Specimen Submission Instructions for Leukemia - Submitting Whole Blood and Bone Marrow

Note: this section includes general specimen processing instructions. Always follow specimen collection and processing instructions indicated in the protocols (Sections 9 and 15) if specified. Specimen processing instructions included in the protocol always take precedence over these general processing instructions. If specific processing instructions are not provided in the protocol, then follow these instructions to prepare only the specimen type(s) requested per protocol.

  1. Collect peripheral blood or bone marrow as indicated in the Specimen Submission Guidelines for Whole Blood section.
    1. If the amounts for blood or bone marrow specified in the protocol cannot be obtained on any individual patient, then please send the available specimen.
  2. Note that peripheral blood and bone marrow collected at the same time are separate specimens.
    1. Patients with WBC < 100,000/µL:
      1. 25-30 mL of PERIPHERAL BLOOD collected into protocol-specified tubes. If tube type is not specified in the protocol, please use EDTA.
      2. 8-10 mL of BONE MARROW collected into protocol-specified collection tubes (see NOTE below). Use anticoagulated syringes and put 4-5 mL in each tube. If tube type is not specified in protocol, please use EDTA.
      3. If marrow is not aspirable ("dry tap"), submit 25-30 mL of peripheral blood only.
    2. Patients with WBC > 100,000/µL:
      1. 10-12 mL of PERIPHERAL BLOOD collected into protocol-specific tubes.
      2. 8-10 mL of BONE MARROW collected into institution's tube. Use anticoagulated syringes and put 4-5 mL in each tube.
      3. If marrow cannot be aspirated ("dry tap"), submit 25-30 mL of peripheral blood only.
  3. Standard Instructions for Shipping Fresh Peripheral Blood or Bone Marrow
    1. Prepare a shipment of peripheral blood or bone marrow according to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens from the Packaging and Shipping Notes in the Introductory Notes for General Specimen Preparation above.
    2. Do not send cytogenetic specimens to the Bank.

Locating Submission Instructions for Laboratories Other Than the SWOG Biospecimen Repository

For specimens being submitted to laboratories other than the SWOG Biospecimen Bank, please refer to the protocol for specimen collection, processing and shipping instructions.