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GIST Support International - GIST Tissue Banks
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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:

  • 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
  • samples from upcoming surgery
    • flash frozen tissue samples
    • must be requested through your surgeon and the pathology department prior to the operation.

If you are scheduling surgery, please consider having frozen tissue samples saved to donate to research.  You can arrange for this through your surgeon if you mention it in advance.  See more information at our page for Extra Pathology Samples.

If you can send archived samples from past surgeries, including 10-15 unstained slides and/or paraffin blocks of tissue, those are also helpful.

Worthy tissue banks include the following (listed in alphabetical order).  We will add to this list as we identify additional tumor banks that accept tissues sent directly from the patient's hospital. Please contact the investigator for instructions on completing any needed paperwork and having the samples shipped. 


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.

NIH Pediatric & Wildtype GIST Clinic
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892

Constantine A. Stratakis MD, D(Med)S
Chief, Section on Endocrinology and Genetics
National Institute for Child Health & Human

Fax: 301-402-0574/480-0378


Su Young Kim, MD PhD
Pediatric Oncology Branch
National Cancer Institute
phone 301-451-7018
fax 301-480-5906



Our goal is to identify genes and therapies for pediatric GIST, wildtype GIST, familial GIST, Carney Triad,  and related conditions.  The researchers included in the Consortium for Pediatric and wildtype GIST Research (CPGR) are all involved, and this consortium is open to all interested researchers.

Please e-mail Dr. Kim for instructions on tissue donations.  Frozen samples and fresh tissue samples of wildtype GIST are needed.  Paraffin-embedded tissue blocks or unstained slides are also very helpful in our studies.

If you are a patient with wildtype GIST scheduling new surgery, contact Dr. Kim and he will help make advance arrangements to collect new tissue samples.

You may download and print a medical release form by clicking below:

Form for samples from prior surgery

Form for samples from upcoming surgery






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