Understanding the available procedures


Genoptix analyzes three different types of samples
Bone marrow testing

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue within your bones that produces white and red blood cells and platelets. A bone marrow sample offers detailed information about the condition of your blood cells, and your doctor will generally order a bone sample or procedure as medically appropriate.

Peripheral blood testing

Peripheral blood testing is used to look for abnormalities within the blood. At Genoptix, we run traditional and molecular tests, examining the sample for abnormalities in the shape, size, and number of blood cells as well as molecular irregularities.

Tissue biopsy

A tissue biopsy takes a sample from a specific part of the body to examine its composition. Your doctor will generally order this when an initial test suggests abnormalities in a specific area of the body. Our team examines the tissue and performs tests to gain further insight.


How it works
Bone marrow testing

In adults, cell-producing marrow is found typically in the hip but also in the backbones (vertebrae), shoulder bones, ribs, breastbone, and skull. A special needle is inserted into the selected marrow-containing bone, usually the hip bone, and a sample is withdrawn. The marrow can then be sent to Genoptix to be examined.

Peripheral blood testing

Peripheral blood testing involves drawing blood into a small sample vial. Our team will examine your blood cells visually and run molecular tests and traditional tests like morphology or flow cytometry.

Tissue biopsy

Your tissue biopsy procedure will vary according to the type and location of the tissue in question.


Bone marrow testing

In your healthcare provider's office or in a hospital, you will lie on your abdomen. Your doctor will cleanse the area, apply local anesthetic, and insert the needle. As your doctor removes the sample, you may feel some mild pain or discomfort.

Peripheral blood testing

Peripheral blood testing is a simple procedure. A phlebotomist, trained specifically to draw blood, will tie a tourniquet above the site where the blood will be drawn. He or she will clean and sterilize the injection site and insert a needle directly into the vein. The blood sample is collected into a vial.

Tissue biopsy

Although almost all biopsies are outpatient procedures, some require more preparation than others. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your healthcare provider.

Taking a Test

Can I request my own laboratory tests?

Due to state regulations, you will need a healthcare provider to order Genoptix testing for you. If you think that Genoptix testing might be the right choice for you, speak with your physician or oncologist today.

I already had a blood test. Why do I need a bone marrow test?

Sometimes, the results of a blood test are inconclusive. When that happens, your physician needs to go to the source of blood cell production—your bone marrow, to get definite answers.

Testing Procedure

Where do I take the test?

A healthcare provider will administer the test either in your physician’s office or in a hospital.

What happens to my sample?

Once your healthcare provider has taken your sample, Genoptix assigns it for same-day pickup by FedEx. Your healthcare provider packs your sample, and FedEx transports it to Genoptix.

What are the risks of this procedure?

All medical procedures carry some type of risk. However, for these types of procedures, risks are typically low. Be sure to talk through the risks with your physician before your procedure.

What is molecular testing? Why does it matter?

Molecular testing characterizes cancer in more detail that may enable your healthcare provider to select the most appropriate therapy.

What types of molecular and other specialized tests does Genoptix perform?

Genoptix uses the following types of technology in its molecular tests:

  • IHC (Immunohistochemistry): we stain cells with labeled antibodies that identify specific proteins or antigens.
  • FISH (Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization): we shine fluorescent lights on the sample, illuminating specific genes that may be stimulating the cancer’s growth.
  • Flow Cytometry: advanced instruments use lasers to scan cells as they pass through a fluid stream.
  • PCR (Polymerase chain reaction): we copy a cell’s DNA billions of times over, highlighting its unique abnormalities so we can study them.

Your Results

When will I receive my test results?

In most cases, your doctor will receive your test results in 7-10 days. However, this window may vary according to a range of factors. Be sure to discuss your questions or concerns with your doctor.

Can I keep a copy of my test results?

Your physician decides whether or not to release a copy of your results to you. Be sure to discuss questions or concerns with your doctor.

I have a question about my bill. Who can I talk to?

You can reach the Genoptix billing department by phone, at 800.755.1605, or by email, at [email protected]. The billing department is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST.