Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs), c-KIT Mutation Analysis

CPT: 81272; 88381
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  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI, Imatinib) Responsiveness

Special Instructions

This assay is currently not available in New York state.

Expected Turnaround Time

10 - 14 days

Specimen Requirements


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue or five unstained slides from a paraffin block in 10-μM sections and a matching H&E reference slide


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) block or five unstained slides from paraffin block in 10-μM sections and a matching H&E reference slide

Minimum Volume

2 mm x 2 mm tumor area with ≥50% tumor


Slides or blocks


Please provide a copy of the pathology report. Please direct any questions regarding this test to oncology customer service at 800-345-4363.

Storage Instructions

Maintain blocks and slides at room temperature.

Causes for Rejection

Tumor block containing insufficient tumor tissue or tumor fixed in a heavy metal fixative; broken or stained slides

Test Details


c-KIT is a proto-oncogene that encodes a type III transmembrane tyrosine kinase. c-KIT and its ligand stem cell factor have a key role in survival, proliferation, differentiation, and functional activation of cells.


Genomic DNA is purified from the specimen provided. Exons 9, 11, 13, and 17 of c-KIT gene coding are subjected to PCR amplification and bidirectional sequencing in duplicate to identify sequence variations. This assay has a sensitivity to detect approximately 10% of cells containing the c-KIT mutations in a background of nonmutant cells. This assay will not detect the mutation below the sensitivity of this assay.

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined, by LabCorp. It has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has determined that such clearance or approval is not necessary.


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing

Additional Information

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumor of the gastrointestinal tract, located mostly in the stomach (60%) and small intestine (35%). Approximately 80% of GISTs have a mutation in c-KIT and 5% to 10% of GISTs have a mutation in PDGFRA. PDGFRA mutations are mutually exclusive with c-KIT mutations but activate similar signal transduction pathways that support GIST oncogenesis. The location of c-KIT and PDGFRA mutations in GISTs is associated with the site of origin, histological phenotype, and treatment response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI, such as imatinib and sunitinib). Patients with mutations in c-KIT exon 11 have been shown to have significantly better response rates to imatinib treatment when compared with patients who have the c-KIT exon 9 mutations or no mutation. Patients with mutations in c-KIT exon 9 may benefit from dose escalation depending on tolerance. Secondary mutations usually occur in c-KIT kinase domains in patients after imatinib treatment resulting in resistance to this drug. Most known mutations in the PDGFRA gene are associated with imatinib response with the exception of D842V mutation. In a subset of intestinal high-risk GISTs lacking c-KIT/PDGFRA mutations, 7% have a mutation in BRAF. Kinase inhibitors targeting BRAF may be effective therapeutic options in this molecular GIST subset.


Agaram NP, Wong GC, Guo T, et al. Novel V600E BRAF mutations in imatinib-naïve and imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2008 Oct; 47(10):853-859. 18615679
Blanke CD, Demetri GD, von Mehren M, et al. Long-term results from a randomized phase II trial of standard-versus higher-dose imatinib mesylate for patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors expressing KIT. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 1; 26(4):620-625. 18235121
Carvajal RD, Antonescu CR, Wolchok JD, et al. KIT as a therapeutic target in metastatic melanoma. JAMA. 2011 Jun 8; 305(22):2327-2334. 21642685
Corless CL, Schroeder A, Griffith D, et al. PDGFRA mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors: Frequency, spectrum and in vitro sensitivity to imatinib. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Aug 10; 23(23):5357-5364. 15928335
Gramza AW, Corless CL, Heinrich MC, et al. Resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Dec 15; 15(24):7510-7518. 20008851
Heinrich MC, Owzar K, Corless CL, et al. Correlation of kinase genotype and clinical outcome in the North American Intergroup Phase III trial of imatinib mesylate for treatment of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor: CALGB 150105 study by Cancer and Leukemia Group B and Southwest Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Nov 20; 26(33):5360-5367. 18955451
NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Version 2.2011.
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Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510871 cKIT Mutation Analysis Result: 55201-8
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510876 Nucleotide Change: 48004-6
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510877 Amino Acid Change 48005-3
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510879 Block Number: N/A
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510873 Background: 77202-0
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510878 Clinical Significance N/A
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510874 Methodology: 49549-9
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510875 References: N/A
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 510872 Director Review: 72486-4
510870 cKIT Analysis in GISTs 480903 Microdissection Performed 8100-0

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