My oncologist said the new lab was more accurate, that's why my numbers went up. I thought all labs were to the IS. Can anyone please explain this? Has anyone else experienced this?
The IS system is not perfect, and not all labs are on the IS anyway and even those that are do not always report results on the IS. Mine, for example, is IS calibrated but reports local numbers so I need to run the conversion myself to get the IS figure.
Different PCR machines and processes can be more sensitive and produce more accurate results, based on more "assays" of the blood.
What was your result at the previous lab, and at the new one?
Lab Corp: May 2018 B2A2 .0032 B3A2 0.1482 Sept 2018 B2A2 0.0032 B3A2 0.1123 Jan 2019 B2A2 0.1694
B3A2 0.1482 Apr 2019 B2A2 0.1304 B3A2 0.0844 Quest Labs Jul 2019 BCR/ABL 0.431 Oct 2019 BCR/ABL 0.423 Jan 2020 BCR/ABL 0.749 Feb 2020 BCR/ABL 0.356 May 2020 BCR/ABL 0.250
Both Labs mark IS. Thank you for the info regarding the difference in Labs. That explains a lot. My trend does seem to be coming down. I've been walking daily (4-5 miles) and diet changes last 3 months. Could this be helping numbers to come down? Aug 22, 2020 will be 4th year with CML. Can the handling of the blood effect the PCR numbers. Seemed to be a little confusion last time at blood draw with blood handling. I tried to find correct protocol for blood handling on internet, no success. Is PCR done under microscope or machine? I'm on Imatinib 400 daily. Was thinking of possibly changing, but with numbers coming down might wait it out. Thank you
PCR is done on a machine and is a complex process, amplifying genetic code thousand and thousands of times. Newer machines employ different ways of doing it, so it’s not always directly comparable. Even the same machine in different labs will give different results due to blood processing and handling times and routines (indeed if you run the same test in the same lab twice it won’t be exactly the same either).