Supporting Your Healthcare Professional

The Knight Diagnostic Laboratories is part of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and much of the lab’s testing relates to cancer diagnosis. The test analysis will identify abnormalities in your tumor and your physician will be provided a detailed summary of to assist in choosing the optimal treatment for you. The result summary  will also identify clinical trials which match your cancer's profile.

The Knight Diagnostic Laboratories also supports the Oregon Health & Sciences University department of Medical Molecular Genetics. Testing developed in these laboratories is used in the diagnosis of rare inherited disorders. Our experienced Medical Directors will work with your physician or genetic counselor to fully evaluate your disease.

Answers to common questions about the Knight Diagnostic Laboratories:

Where do I go to have a test to analyze my tumor? Do I need to request a test through my doctor?
Cancer patients who are being treated at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute as well as those treated elsewhere can benefit from the Knight Diagnostic Laboratories tests.  All tests should be requested by a licensed physician.  Any specimens that would be sent to our laboratory for testing would be collected in the physician’s office or from a future or past surgical procedure, depending on the test requested.

Are there tests for blood cancers as well as solid tumors?
Yes. The Knight Diagnostic Laboratories currently offers tests that analyze for mutations in tumors. These tests will also look for mutations for which there are already targeted therapies available.

Are the tests painful? Do they require a biopsy or surgery?
Blood, bone marrow or surgical biopsy specimens are typically collected as part of the cancer diagnostic process.  We are able to use those specimens for our testing.

If a patient has already been treated for cancer, is it too late to have a test?
No.  A patient can be tested after chemotherapy treatment has occurred.

What happens to the results?
Test results are released to the physician who ordered the test and to the medical institution that provided the specimen (if testing a biopsy specimen). 
Can the tests help detect cancer before a tumor is formed?
Most of these tests are not developed for the purposes of cancer screening.

A fraction of all cancers are associated with genetic mutations that have been transmitted through familial lines, often through several generations. In certain cases your physician or genetic ​counselor may wish to confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of an inherited cancer or test an individual with a positive family history for inherited cancer. Understanding the makeup of such cancers can help guide treatment and proper surveillance. 

Will my insurance cover the cost of the test? What about Medicare?
The Knight Diagnostic Laboratories work with all major insurance companies including Medicare. 

What do these tests cost?
The cost of testing depends on the specific test ordered by your physician. Your out-of-pocket cost depends on the type of medical insurance you have.

Donor Resources
OHSU patients have the opportunity to allow their excess tissue samples (biospecimens) to be saved for medical research. These samples can be used by researchers to develop new and better medical treatments for people.  Please see the Donor Resources page for further information.

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute's largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

Learn More