Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Sample Submission and Collection

Sample Submission

Samples can be submitted in fixative, fresh (on ice), or frozen. Contact the lab prior to sample submission, and provide a completed Comparative Pathology Request Form (Excel document) with your samples. Please submit electronically via e-mail to

Submission of fresh or frozen tissues

  • Drop off in the lab between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.


  • Arrange their pick-up with the lab staff (contact

Submission of fixed tissues

  • Drop off in the lab between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.


  • Drop off in the designated hood in Masonic Cancer Research Building (MCRB) room 580
    • Samples are picked up once a week on Tuesday mornings. Because pickup times vary, please have your samples in the hood by Monday evening. Make sure that all samples are well labeled and that the labels match those on the submission form.
    • The MCRB room 580 hood contains limited supplies of small containers and formalin. These supplies are designated for small studies and for investigators using our core services for the first time.

Turn-around time

  • Projects will be completed in the order they were received.
  • For the technical portions of the projects (routine histology and established IHC protocols) the turn-around time is 1-2 weeks.

Pick-up of produced materials

  • Produced slides, paraffin blocks or other materials will be left in the MCRB room 580 hood after notification of project completion.
  • Due to limited freezer space in our facility, frozen tissues must be picked up 4 weeks after project completion date.
Sample Collection


  • 10% neutral buffered formalin is the most commonly used fixative
  • To assure good sample quality, collect samples as soon as possible after the death of the animal
  • For thorough fixation, tissue to formalin ratio should be 1:10
  • Transfer samples into 70% ethanol after complete fixation in formalin (usually overnight up to 24h for mouse tissues) if IHC procedure will be applied to the formalin fixed tissues.


  • Please use wide mouth containers for fixed specimens. Tissues become rigid in fixative and can not be removed from the containers with narrow necks.

Whole mouse submissions

  • If submitting the entire mouse, open thoracic and abdominal cavities to expose internal organs to fixative
  • Ensure that there is adequate amount of formalin and the container has a wide mouth.
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  • Last modified on January 22, 2013