FISH - ALK Gene Rearrangement

FISH - ALK Gene Rearrangement

Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization, widely known as FISH, is a state-of-the-art laboratory method used to detect and visualize specific DNA sequences in cells. In the case of ALK gene rearrangement, FISH is employed to pinpoint alterations in the ALK gene, which is highly relevant in diagnosing and treating certain types of lung cancer.

ALK, or anaplastic lymphoma kinase, is a gene that plays an integral role in the growth and division of cells. In certain instances, the ALK gene can become altered, leading to uncontrolled cell growth. This is particularly common in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Knowing whether a tumor has an ALK gene rearrangement can be paramount in deciding the most effective treatment plan.

  • Test NameFISH - ALK Gene Rearrangement
  • Sample TypeParaffin Block
  • Preparations RequiredThere are no specific patient preparations needed for the tissue biopsy used in this test. However, post-biopsy, it is vital to follow the doctor's instructions regarding care of the biopsy site.
  • Report Time7 days

What is the FISH ALK Gene Rearrangement test?

The FISH ALK Gene Rearrangement test is a molecular diagnostic test that detects alterations or rearrangements in the ALK gene. This test is commonly used to identify specific genetic changes in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

How is the sample for this test collected?

The sample used for this test is typically a tissue sample from the tumor. This can be obtained through a biopsy procedure where a small piece of tissue is extracted, often with a needle. The tissue is then embedded in a paraffin block for examination.

Home Sample Collection Process
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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Download Reports
Frequently Asked Questions

Identifying ALK gene rearrangements in lung cancer is crucial because it can impact treatment choices. Certain drugs, known as ALK inhibitors, are specifically designed to target cancers with ALK gene alterations.

Patients who have been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, should consider this test. It's especially relevant for those who have never smoked or are young, as ALK gene rearrangements are more common in these groups.

If the test is positive, it means that the ALK gene is rearranged and contributing to the cancer's growth. This information can guide doctors in recommending targeted therapies such as ALK inhibitors.

Risks associated with biopsy procedures include bleeding, infection, and discomfort at the biopsy site. There's also a small risk of collapsing lung in lung biopsies.

ALK inhibitors are a type of targeted cancer therapy. They specifically target the altered ALK protein produced by cancer cells with ALK rearrangement, thereby inhibiting the growth of these cells.

If ALK rearrangement is detected, targeted therapies such as ALK inhibitors (e.g., crizotinib, alectinib) may be used. Other treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or combination therapy depending on the stage and other characteristics of the cancer.

Yes, ALK rearrangements can also be found in other types of cancers, including some types of lymphoma and neuroblastoma, but they are most commonly associated with non-small cell lung cancer.

Yes, ALK gene status can change, especially during treatment. Sometimes the cancer may develop resistance to ALK inhibitors, which may necessitate a change in treatment strategy.

Symptoms may include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, weight loss, and fatigue. Some patients, however, may not show any symptoms at the time of diagnosis.

There is no known way to prevent ALK gene rearrangements as they are likely caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors.

If resistance to ALK inhibitors develops, the doctor might suggest switching to a different targeted therapy or consider a combination of treatments including chemotherapy and radiation.

Common side effects of ALK inhibitors include nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, and fatigue. The doctor can help manage these side effects.

Yes, research is continuously ongoing to develop new drugs and treatment strategies for cancers with ALK rearrangement.

The FISH ALK Gene Rearrangement test is a potent diagnostic tool that guides the personalized treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Understanding the genetic makeup of the tumor, particularly the status of the ALK gene, is vital for choosing the most effective treatment regimen. It is important to closely collaborate with your doctor to make informed decisions regarding your treatment plan.

FISH- ALK Gene Rearrangement (Paraffin Block)
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