Days Set Up
Monday - Friday
Analytic Time

3 – 10 days

MiChart Code
Soft Order Code

Test Updated:


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Test Overview

Test Methodology

Multiplex allele-specific PCR with capillary electrophoresis detection.

Test Usage

TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) is involved in maintaining the length of chromosome telomeres. The TERT gene is normally expressed in germ cells and stem cells but is repressed in postnatal somatic cells. Because chromosomes are shortened with each round of DNA replication, cells without telomerase activity have a limited number of divisions before apoptosis occurs. Telomerase activity, therefore, plays an important role in immortalizing the cells of many types of cancer. A common mechanism of increased telomerase activity in cancer is mutation of the TERT promoter. These mutations create a consensus binding site for ETS transcription factors leading to increased TERT expression. The detection of TERT promoter mutations can be useful in assessing the malignant potential of some lesions such as melanocytic lesions or in distinguishing certain types of cancer from benign histologic mimics. In addition, for some cancer types, such as papillary thyroid carcinoma, melanoma and glioma, TERT promoter mutations are associated with an inferior prognosis. This test uses allele-specific PCR to detect TERT promoter mutations including c.-146C>T (C250T; Chr.5:1295250C>T), c.-124C>T (C228T; Chr.5:1295228C>T), c.-138_139CC>TT (Chr.5:1295242_1295243CC>TT) and c.-124_125CC>TT (Chr.5:1295228_1295229CC>TT). Genomic positions are based on hg19 assembly NC_000005.9.

Reference Range

Interpretive report provided.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Specimen Requirements

Collection Offsite

For formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, a block containing an area with a high percentage of neoplastic cells (for micro-/macro-dissection) is preferred. Unstained, UNBAKED slides (5-8, 10-micron slides; 10-15 if few neoplastic cells are present) with associated H&E stained slide are also acceptable. Decalcified tissue or other fixatives will be accepted and the assay attempted, however these may result in failed testing due to degraded nucleic acid. Both blocks and slides should be stored at room temperature. A Diff-Quik stained aspirate smear (preferably containing a high percentage and overall amount of neoplastic cells) is also acceptable. Store at room temperature.

Normal Volume
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, Diff-Quik stained aspirate smear. Extracted DNA is also acceptable if extracted in a CLIA certified laboratory.
Minimum Volume

Billing Information

CPT Code
81345, 88381-TC
Pro Fee Code

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Our High Standard

Quality that sets us apart

As the reference laboratory division of Michigan Medicine's Department of Pathology, MLabs shares the institution's commitment to applying established quality principles to clinical laboratory testing. Like other large organizations in complex, consequential fields, we rely on an established approach to monitor quality throughout the testing process.