Test Catalog

Test Id : TERT

TERT Promoter Analysis, Tumor

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Assisting in central nervous system tumor classification


This test is not useful for hematological malignancies.

Additional Tests
Lists tests that are always performed, at an additional charge, with the initial tests.

Test Id Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
SLIRV Slide Review in MG No, (Bill Only) Yes

Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

When this test is ordered, slide review will always be performed at an additional charge.

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-Based Next-Generation Sequencing

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

TERT Promoter Analysis, Tumor

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

TERT promoter

Next Gen Sequencing Test


Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumor





Diffuse glioma

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular adenoma


Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

When this test is ordered, slide review will always be performed at an additional charge.

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Necessary Information

Pathology report (final or preliminary) at minimum containing the following information must accompany specimen in order for testing to be performed:

1. Patient name

2. Block number-must be on all blocks, slides and paperwork (can be handwritten on the paperwork)

3. Tissue collection date

4. Source of the tissue

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

This assay requires at least 20% tumor nuclei.

-Preferred amount of tumor area with sufficient percent tumor nuclei: tissue144 mm(2)

-Minimum amount of tumor area: tissue 36 mm(2).

-These amounts are cumulative over up to 10 unstained slides and must have adequate percent tumor nuclei.

-Tissue fixation: 10% neutral buffered formalin, not decalcified

-For specimen preparation guidance, see Tissue Requirement for Solid Tumor Next-Generation Sequencing in Special Instructions. In this document, the sizes are given as 4mm x 4mm x 10 slides as preferred: approximate/equivalent to 144 mm(2) and the minimum as 3mm x 1mm x 10 slides: approximate/equivalent to 36mm(2).



Specimen Type: Tissue block

Collection Instructions: Submit a formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue block with acceptable amount of tumor tissue.



Specimen Type: Tissue slide

Slides: 1 stained and 10 unstained

Collection Instructions: Submit 1 slide stained with hematoxylin and eosin and 10 unstained, nonbaked slides with 5-micron thick sections of the tumor tissue.

Note: The total amount of required tumor nuclei can be obtained by scraping up to 10 slides from the same block.

Specimen Type: Cytology slide (direct smears or ThinPrep)

Slides: 1 to 3 slides

Collection Instructions: Submit 1 to 3 slides stained and cover slipped with a preferred total of 5000 nucleated cells or a minimum of at least 3000 nucleated cells.

Note: Glass coverslips are preferred; plastic coverslips are acceptable but will result in longer turnaround times.

Additional Information: Cytology slides will not be returned.

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send an Oncology Test Request (T729) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

See Specimen Required

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Other Specimens that have been decalcified (all methods) Specimens that have not been formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Ambient (preferred)

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Assisting in central nervous system tumor classification


This test is not useful for hematological malignancies.

Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

When this test is ordered, slide review will always be performed at an additional charge.

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase, an enzyme complex that regulates telomere length. TERT promoter mutations in 2 hotspots (C228T and C250T) have been shown to increase telomerase activity and contribute to tumorigenesis by allowing cancer cells to overcome cellular senescence. Among central nervous system tumors, TERT promoter mutations have primarily been identified in adults, with highest frequencies in oligodendroglioma, primary glioblastoma, solitary fibrous tumor, and medulloblastoma. Although less frequent, TERT promoter mutations have also been observed in lower-grade infiltrating (diffuse and anaplastic) astrocytomas and ependymoma, and are rare or absent in other central nervous system tumor types. The presence of TERT promoter mutations have been associated with a less favorable prognosis in lower-grade (grade II/III) diffuse gliomas that lack IDH1/2 mutations and have intact 1p/19q ("IDH-wildtype astrocytomas"), and with a more favorable prognosis in prognosis in grade II/III IDH1/2-mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted diffuse gliomas ("IDH-mutant and 1p/19q codeleted oligodendrogliomas"). Assessment of TERT promoter mutation status in central nervous system tumors may assist in tumor classification and provide prognostically relevant information for subgroups of patients with lower-grade diffuse gliomas.


TERT gene mutations are also observed in a variety of non-central nervous system (CNS) tumor types. In hepatocellular neoplasms TERT promoter mutations occur frequently in hepatocellular carcinomas and are believed to be an early step in hepatocarcinogenesis. However, TERT promoter mutations are not specific to hepatocellular carcinoma and have been reported as a key alteration in the rare progression of hepatocellular adenomas to hepatocellular carcinomas. As such, identification of a TERT promoter mutation suggests a hepatocellular neoplasm with an increased risk for aggressive behavior.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

An interpretative report will be provided.

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

An interpretive report will be provided.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This test cannot differentiate between somatic and germline alterations. Additional testing may be necessary to clarify the significance of results if there is a potential hereditary risk.


DNA variants of uncertain significance may be identified.


A negative (wild-type) result does not rule out the presence of a mutation that may be present but below the limits of detection of this assay.


Point mutations and small insertion/deletion mutations will be detected with in the promoter region of the TERT gene only.


This test does not detect structural variants, genomic copy number variants, or large single or multiexon deletions or duplications in the TERT gene.


Rare polymorphisms may be present that could lead to false-negative or false-positive results. Test results should be interpreted in the context of clinical findings, tumor sampling, and other laboratory data. If results obtained do not match other clinical or laboratory findings, contact the laboratory for updated interpretation. Misinterpretation of results may occur if the information provided is inaccurate or incomplete.


Reliable results are dependent on adequate specimen collection and processing. This test has been validated on cytology slides and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues; other types of fixatives are discouraged. Improper treatment of tissues, such as decalcification, may cause PCR failure.

Supportive Data

We have developed a next-generation sequencing assay to detect somatic mutations that can be used to assist in the classification and prognostication of central nervous system tumors.


This assay has been shown to be very reproducible, having a 100% concordance for intra- and interassay reproducibility experiments. All somatic mutations that had been previously identified by various other molecular methods were detected by this assay during accuracy studies. No pathogenic variants were detected in known mutation negative samples.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Killela PJ, Reitman ZJ, Jiao Y, et al: TERT promoter mutations occur frequently in gliomas and a subset of tumors derived from cells with low rates of self-renewal. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013;110(15):6021-6026

2. Brennan CW, Verhaak RG, McKenna A, et al: The somatic genomic landscape of glioblastoma. Cell. 2013;155(2):462-477

3. Koelsche C, Sahm F, Capper D, et al: Distribution of TERT promoter mutations in pediatric and adult tumors of the nervous system. Acta Neuropathol. 2013 Dec;126(6):907-915

4. Eckel-Passow JE, Lachance DH, Molinaro AM, et al: Glioma Groups Based on 1p/19q, IDH, and TERT Promoter Mutations in Tumors. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(26):2499-2508

5. Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, Brat DJ, Verhaak RG, et al: Comprehensive, Integrative Genomic Analysis of Diffuse Lower-Grade Gliomas. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(26):2481-2498

6. Bell RJ, Rube HT, Xavier-Magalhaes A, et al: Understanding TERT Promoter Mutations: A Common Path to Immortality. Mol Cancer Res. 2016;14(4):315-323

7. Horn S, Figl A, Rachakonda PS, et al: TERT promoter mutations in familial and sporadic melanoma. Science. 2013;339(6122):959-961

8. Huang FW, Hodis E, Xu MJ, et al: Highly recurrent TERT promoter mutations in human melanoma. Science. 2013;339(6122):957-959

9. Huang DS, Wang Z, He XJ, et al: Recurrent TERT promoter mutations identified in a large-scale study of multiple tumour types are associated with increased TERT expression and telomerase activation. Eur J Cancer. 2015 May;51(8):969-976

10. Pekmezci M, Rice T, Molinaro AM, et al: Adult infiltrating gliomas with WHO 2016 integrated diagnosis: additional prognostic roles of ATRX and TERT. Acta Neuropathol 2017

11. Nault JC, Zucman-Rossi J: TERT promoter mutations in primary liver tumors. Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2016 Feb;40(1):9-14Epub 2015 Aug 31

12. Schulze K, Imbeaud S, Letouzé E, et al: Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinomas identifies new mutational signatures and potential therapeutic targets. Nat Genet. 2015 May;47(5):505-511

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

Targeted next-generation sequencing is performed to test for the presence of a mutation in the promoter region of the TERT gene.(Unpublished Mayo method)


GenBank Accession Number

Nucleotide Start

Nucleotide End


TERT promoter




Chromosome 5

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Friday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

12 to 20 days

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their Regional Manager. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.



LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
TERT TERT Promoter Analysis, Tumor 95778-7
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
92389 Result Summary 50397-9
92390 Result 82939-0
92391 Interpretation 69047-9
92392 Additional Information 48767-8
92393 Specimen 31208-2
92394 Source 31208-2
92395 Tissue ID 80398-1
92396 Released By 18771-6

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports