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Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy involves the removal of bone marrow, blood, and a small piece of bone by inserting a needle into the hipbone or breastbone. This type of biopsy is performed either from the sternum (breastbone) or the iliac crest hipbone (the bone area on either side of the pelvis on the lower back area). The skin is cleansed and a local anesthetic is given to numb the area. A long, rigid needle is inserted into the marrow, and cells are aspirated for study; this step is occasionally uncomfortable. A pathologist views the bone marrow, blood, and bone under a microscope to look for signs of cancer. A core biopsy (removing a small bone 'chip' from the marrow) may follow the aspiration.
These tests look for cancer cells in the bone marrow, usually in the hip bone. They are often done at the same time. The area over the hip is first numbed with a local anesthetic. For the bone marrow aspiration, the doctor places a thin, hollow needle attached to a syringe into your hip bone to suck out (aspirate) a sample of blood and cells from the bone marrow. This is usually followed by the bone marrow biopsy. For the biopsy, the doctor uses a larger needle to remove a small piece of bone and bone marrow from your hip bone. A pathologist then checks the cell samples for cancer. A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in looking at cells under a microscope to check for problems, including cancer. A biopsy is the only way for your doctor to know for sure if you have cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.