GIST Tissue Banks

Researchers seeking better GIST treatments (and ultimately a cure!) need GIST tissue samples for their work.  Tissue banks or repositories provide permanent storage of valuable samples and a mechanism for them to be shared by other researchers (based on the worthiness of their applications).  Storing your tissue in a bank also ensures that it can always be accessed for your own clinical needs, whereas pathology departments would discard your samples after a specified time period (such as 10 years).

Samples of tumors removed from patients during surgery are extremely valuable to researchers who are striving to produce better treatments for GIST.  Two types of samples are helpful:

  • paraffin-embedded samples from past surgery
    • a paraffin block of tissue or 10-15 unstained slides
    • can be requested through the pathology department of the hospital where the surgery was performed
    • Worthy tissue banks that accept tissue sent directly from the patient’s hospital include those listed further down this page. Please contact the investigator for instructions on completing any needed paperwork and having the samples shipped. See more information at our page for Extra Pathology Samples.
  • frozen samples from upcoming surgery for WT (SDH-deficient) GIST
    • flash-frozen and viably-frozen tissue samples
    • must be requested through your surgeon and the pathology department prior to the operation

If you (or a family member) with SDH-deficient GIST are scheduling surgery, please consider having frozen tissue samples saved to donate to research.  Properly prepared frozen tissue are greatly needed for the development of mouse models and cells lines.  Arrangements must be made in advance of your surgery.  Please contact the SDH-deficient GIST Research Advocates (SDH-RA) for guidance regarding having properly-prepared frozen tissue sent to labs performing active SDH-deficient GIST research.  The SDH-RA can be reached at, or you can visit their website at:


Labs that accept paraffin-embedded GIST samples requested by patients from the pathology department where surgery was performed


Dana-Farber / Brigham & Women’s Hospital Sarcoma Tissue Repository

Principal Investigator: Chandrajit Raut, MD (sarcoma surgical oncologist)

contact: Leo Amodu
Tumor Bank Coordinator
Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
44 Binney Street D1212
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 582-6192 (phone)
(617) 632-4041 (fax)
e-mail :

The Sarcoma Tumor Bank is collaborative endeavor involving all of the sarcoma clinicians and investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, including Dr. Chandrajit Raut, Dr. George Demetri, Dr. Jonathan Fletcher, Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, Dr. Christopher Fletcher, Dr. Suzanne George, Dr. Andrew Wagner, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, and Dr. James Butrynski.
This multidisciplinary sarcoma group collects tissue from numerous treated and untreated sarcomas, including GIST, for research that has been approved by Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Institutional Review Board.
Research being performed on GIST includes evaluating mechanisms of resistance to treatment, investigating cooperating oncogenic pathways, and assessing novel drugs in cell line and animal models.
If you would be interested in donating samples to the Tumor Bank, please contact Leo Amodu.
Fox-Chase Cancer Center Biosample Repository

Jeff Boyd, PhD
Director, Biosample Repository
Department of Medical Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Webpage for Biosample Repository

contact: JoEllen Weaver

Mary Gilroy, Recruitment/Intake Coordinator

The research group of Dr. von Mehren is studying what happens to GIST cells when they are treated with imatinib and what leads to clinical resistance.  Their initial studies identified genetic markers that could predict the response of patients with metastatic or recurrent GIST to imatinib and current studies are focusing on genomic and proteomic changes associated with the
pathogenesis of GIST and response to molecular targeted therapies. They have also shown an important role for IGF
signaling in adult and pediatric GISTs that lack activating kinase mutations in tyrosine kinase receptors, KIT and PDGFRA.  They were the first to discover and report that insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) was dramatically upregulated in certain GISTs that lacked kinase gene mutations (frequently referred to as “wild-type”). They have developed a molecular test to determine which mutation negative GIST patients are likely to show clinical benefit to imatinib therapy.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Sarcoma Tissue Bank

Cristina Antonescu, MD
Department of Pathology
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Ave.
New York, NY  10021
Phone: 212-639-5721

Our GIST research includes molecular analyses,
immunologic analyses, pathologic correlates to
clinical outcomes, drug discovery, and signaling
The physicians involved include:
Cristina Antonescu MD,  Ronald DeMatteo MD,
Samuel Singer MD, Robert Maki MD, and
Peter Besmer MD.