The Flow Cytometry Support Laboratory performs state-of-the-art diagnostic clinical flow cytometry testing and immunophenotyping. Our scientists immunophenotype hematolymphoid neoplasia for patients at the National Institutes of Health. We support the National Cancer Institute’s clinical protocols. 

Supporting cancer research 

Our laboratory has supported projects spanning cancer research, including:  

  • Primary effusion lymphoma, a rare lymphoma that occurs mainly in immunosuppressed people and develops outside of the lymph nodes, typically appearing in a body cavity in the absence of a detectable tumor mass. 

  • CAR T-cell therapy, which involves genetically modifying a patient's own T cells to express a receptor targeting a tumor antigen, making many of these cells, and re-infusing them back into the patient.  

  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells, a diverse population of immature myeloid cells that have potent immunosuppressive activity. 


Detection of minimal residual disease and measurement of specific tumor cells 

We support the National Cancer Institute Flow Cytometry Laboratory in the Laboratory of Pathology. Most of our flow cytometry testing involves detecting minimal residual disease and measuring specific tumor cell characteristics mandated by various clinical protocols.  

Our capabilities and specializations

Specimen management 

We receive specimens for primary diagnosis, subclassification, and staging to detect therapeutic targets, such as antibody-based therapy. We evaluate changing signs or symptoms, such as, for example, a new onset of neurological symptoms in a patient with lymphoma. The laboratory follows the response to therapy under protocol-dictated schedules for National Cancer Institute patients. 

Additional Content
  • Primary diagnosis 

  • Subclassification 

  • Staging 

  • Detection of therapeutic targets 

  • Prognostication 

  • Evaluation of changing signs or symptoms 

  • Response monitoring to therapy under protocol-dictated schedules 

Additional Content

Flow cytometry and immunophenotyping 

We test for cancer and perform disease research, including for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, and follicular lymphoma.  

Additional Content
  • Identify abnormal B-cell and T-cell populations using flow cytometry (CD19, CD20, CD22, CD30, CD33, and CD52) 

  • Assess light chain restriction in plasma and B cells 

  • Perform BD FACSLyric™ flow cytometry, which achieves automated standardization through highly reproducible results and enables collaboration through assay portability 

  • Deploy the BD FACSCanto™ II flow cytometer, which features reliable performance and accurate results for experiments requiring up to 8 parameters