Wednesday , September 26 2018
Home / National Oncology/ Biochemistry Reference Laboratory

National Oncology/ Biochemistry Reference Laboratory

National Oncology/ Biochemistry Reference Laboratory (NOBRL)


The National Oncology/ Biochemistry Reference laboratory (NOBRL) is a National reference unit under the Division of National Public Health Laboratory Services (NPHLS), Directorate of Preventive and PromotiveHealth Services. The laboratory was established towards the end of year 2013 to address the rising burden of non-communicable diseases.


To provide effective leadership for efficient, accessible, responsive and quality public health laboratory services that contributes towards protecting the community against non-communicable conditions.


To be the leading oncology/Biochemistry reference laboratory enabling the realization of personalized treatment solutions, present and future.

The laboratory is mandated to perform the following specialized test on Non communicable diseases.

 Immuno assays

  • Thyroid function tests- Free T3, Free T4, TSH
  • Tumor markers- PSA for Prostate Cancer, CA 19-9 for pancreas/bile ducts cancer, CA 125 for ovarian cancer, Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) Liver cancer; CA 15-3 (Breast cancer), carcino-embryonic Antigen (CEA) for colorectal carcinoma

Biochemistry assays:

 Glucose metabolism– HB A1c,  Fasting blood sugar, Random blood sugar

  • Liver function tests-Total and direct bilirubin, Alkpo4, SGOT,SGPT,GGT
  • Renal function tests-Urea, creatinine, Electrolytes
  • Lipid profile– Total Cholesterol; HDL; LDL; triglycerides
  • Bone metabolism- Calcium, Alkaline phosphatase
  • Therapeutic drugs-Quinidine; Procainamide;Cyclosporine
  • Drugs ofabuse-Acetaminophen; Amphetamine/Meta(urine); Barbiturates (urine);Benzodiazepines (urine); Cannabinoids (urine); CocaineMetab (urine); Opiates ( urine); Phencyclidine (urine); Tricyclic Acid; Methadone;Ethanol; Salicylate; Cortisol.
  • Cardiac enzymes-CK-MB-STAT; Troponin 1 ADV; Myglobin; Homocystein
  • Hormones- Estrogen, Progesterone, β-HCG, Testerone, LH, FSH, Prolactin

The following additional tests are in the process of being introduced to make the unit a one stop fully equipped referral laboratory for NCD’s especially on cancer care and managment.

Haematology assays

  • Full blood count; ESR; Retics count

Cytology tests:

  •  Pap smears, Fine needle aspirates, body fluids specimens for microscopic examination.

HPV DNA testing- for cervical cancer on high risk HPV groups

Immunohistochemistry-for demonstration of specific antigens and phenotypes in tumours to distinguish various cancers.

Molecular PCR platforms-used to detect quantify specific genetic mutations characteristic of certain cancers such as the BCR: ABL translocation for diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukamias (CML).

Flow cytometry-this technique is applied on cells suspended in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus (flow cytometer), whereby the primary antibodies and detection system allows phenotyping of the cells such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Urinary Iodine laboratory set-up– this will facilitate dietary iodine in-take monitoring country wide to avert iodine deficiency conditions.

Performance Targets

  1. To screen, monitor and diagnose NCD’s which are major public health concern in the country. Currently our service uptake is 20%, thus we target to achieve up to 80% increase if fully supported.
  2. Conduct advocacy programs on the existence and functions of the NCD’s laboratory in all Counties
  3. To create  a country wide sample referral network.
  4. To monitor counties laboratory systems to ensure quality public health services are rendered.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *