As a patient, we understand cancer testing can be confusing and stressful. At NeoGenomics, we work with you and your care team to ensure the best testing is provided. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about cancer testing and your care.
NeoGenomics Laboratories offers a suite of 30 different NeoTYPE® Cancer Profiles that cover a number of blood and solid tumor cancer diagnoses. The Profiles are designed to optimize the chances of detecting actionable biomarkers, which help the care team determine the best treatment and next steps. Of them, 27 Profiles are highly focused on specific cancers such as Brain, Colorectal, Esophageal, MDS, Lymphoma, and more, and 3 are broad Profiles that make a wider search for useful disease markers.
Based on the tumor profiling needs, there are different types of testing panels ranging from highly focused to comprehensive. Highly focused cancer testing profiles typically analyze a few genes specific to that cancer type. They are used more often for certain cancer types, such as lung cancer or colon cancer. Comprehensive cancer profiling tests look at hundreds of genes for diverse (or pan-cancer) solid tumors.
Testing fits into a wide variety of cancer types and medical situations.
Cancer can be very overwhelming. It is important that you and your care team understand the pros and cons of testing, treatment, and any other specific goals you may have. Nearly all cancers have identified mutations or information that can be helpful in determining your treatment, your care team may consider biomarker testing if you are seeking additional information for personalized treatment decisions.
NeoGenomics’ Cancer Profiles are appropriate for:
- Patients with a current diagnosis of solid tumor or blood-based cancer
- Patients with resistance to certain treatments
- Patients with aggressive or rare cancers
- Patients with advanced cancer when standard treatments do not apply
- Identifying patients that could benefit from clinical trials
Weighing potential outcomes of the testing can help you form questions and plan next steps.
The goal of tumor profiling is to improve patient care by doing some or all of these things:
- Detect biological flaws susceptible to a targeted therapy, which is a drug specifically designed to use the flaw against the cancer.
- Identify clinical trials for patients according to features of their profile.
- Find markers that more precisely describe the diagnosis so there is more guidance to the care team about how to treat it.
- Evaluate whether the case is likely to be more or less severe than standard cases.
Abnormalities found should be useful for at least one of the four purposes above. The great majority of our Profiles are positive for at least one mutation, and most are positive for more than one.
Possible drawbacks to consider are:
- There is a chance no new or extra action plan can be created from the test results.
- Some preserved tumor samples are too small to provide enough tissue to complete the testing. This is rarely an issue with blood or bone marrow, though those samples can be damaged during storage or transport to the lab.
- Clinical trials may not be open for all patients and all results, or they may be too far away.
- Insurance may not fully cover the test, and patients may have co-payments. If this is the case, we offer a wide range of financial assistance options; see our Billing page for more information.
Testing is complex, but NeoGenomics has been successfully providing high-complexity testing to oncologists and pathologists across the United States for over 15 years. We are a responsive, nimble company and adapt our Profiles quickly to new research and changes in medical guidelines.
An important advantage to our patients is that NeoGenomics performs all major test methods in our own laboratories. We have expertise in many types of testing; we are not restricted and can choose the best combination of methods for our Profiles. This means our tests are built to get the most from small specimens, be conservative with costs, and save our clients’ and patients’ precious time.
When your provider orders from NeoGenomics, we must request and/or wait to receive the specimen for testing. Upon receiving the specimen, we process the sample immediately and provide results back to your provider in the form of a report.
Our report includes information about abnormalities found, important markers that were found to be normal, whether the results help define your diagnosis more specifically, what the results might predict for severity, classes of drugs that may have an impact against your cancer, and any clinical trials you may want to consider.
We bill insurance or Medicare for most of this testing; a portion of it may be billed to the hospital in some cases. You may want to refer to the “Billing for Cancer Testing” section for more information.
For organ tumors such as lung, colorectal, breast, and other solid tumor cancers, we use part of the tissue removed during your biopsy or surgery. Most of the time, we work with tissue already removed for other reasons, not from a procedure done just for this test. Your doctor’s test order authorizes us to obtain this preserved tissue from the hospital or other laboratory where it was collected or last studied.
For cancers of the blood or bone marrow, we test a small sample of newly-collected blood or bone marrow. Whether your doctor collects a blood sample or requires a bone marrow aspiration in these cases depends on the disease and your individual circumstances.
We have a broad network of insurance contract and value-based relationships to provide patients with exceptional in-network and cost-effective services. If you receive a denial letter, explanation of benefit, or a bill, we are here to help. See our financial assistance offerings on our Billing page.
We’re Here to Help
Looking for additional information on NeoGenomics testing capabilities? Our Patient Services team is on hand to help.
Call us at 866.776.5907, ext. 9, Fax us at 760.670.2722 or