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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Preanalytical Evaluation & Molecular Testing Services

PEMT Service Team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center

The Pre-analytical Evaluation and Molecular Testing (PEMT) Service ensures the use of adequate and accurately classified tumor and ancillary specimens for molecular testing, and the application of specific predictive and prognostic molecular tests to appropriate tumor types for correlation with outcomes.

Personnel provide classic histology and immunohistochemistry, macrodissection, DNA and RNA extraction, PCR amplification in preparation for DNA sequencing and preparation of DNA for use in multiplex platforms (SNapshot) and whole exome isolation (Sureselect).


  • Retrieval of appropriate materials for testing (fluids, blocks or slides) from biospecimen archives.
  • Review of histological slides to confirm diagnosis and ensure adequacy of specimen
  • Selection of appropriate technology for nucleic acid extraction (microdissection or coring of the block)
  • Preparation of sections for DNA sequencing (including for use with multiplex platforms [SNaPshot] and whole exome isolation [Sureselect] and other molecular tests
  • Extraction of DNA from microdissected cells or tissue services
  • Testing of DNA by appropriate method
  • Entry of test results in database developed by the Research Informatics Shared Resource for analysis and future correlation with outcomes
  • Tissue grossing, processing and embedding
  • Cutting paraffin & frozen sections
  • H and E & Special Staining
  • Tissue array block creation
  • Immunohistochemistry, including antibody optimization


  • Tissue-Tek Vacuum Processor 
  • Immunostainers
  • Microm Tissue Embedding Unit
  • Microm Paraffin Microtome
  • Microm 505E Cryostat
  • Ventana Benchmark XT
  • Automated extraction equipment (Qiacube)
  • Nanodrop spectrophotometers
  • Bioanalyzer
  • Pipetting robot
  • Thermocyclers
  • Roche Lightcycler for quantitative PCR and RT-PCR analysis
  • Olympic microscopes, photomicroscopic equipment and Leica microdissection scopes
  • Aperio slide scanner