Join us for the GIST Cancer Research Fund (GCRF) 2020 Virtual Fundraiser Walk!

Join the GIST Cancer Research Fund (GCRF) for a virtual fundraiser walk

Oct 17-18th, 2020

The GCRF is a GIST patient-run non-profit (501c3) that has supported the GIST basic research being performed in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Heinrich here at OHSU, as well as numerous other GIST research programs around the US, for nearly two decades. The funds donated to research from the GCRF fund research for improving the care of GIST patients. Without the support of the GCRF, the immense progress that has been made in improving GIST patient care at OHSU would not have been possible. Please invite family and friends to participate in this virtual walk. Choose you own date and distance for the walk and recruit sponsors.

Donations can be made by credit card at or checks payable to GCRF can be sent to:
Liz Chew
1630 Coraltree Place
San Jose, CA 95131

Welcome to the Heinrich Lab, Homma!

We have a new graduate student in the Heinrich Lab, so please join us in welcoming Homma!  Homma Khosroyani graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental biology and a minor in microbiology.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in the OHSU Cancer Biology graduate program.  Homma’s project in the lab will focus on using CRISPR/Cas9 screens to characterize cancer cell quiescence in GIST.

2019 GDOL Portland

On Saturday, June 22nd, The Life Raft Group hosted its annual GIST Day of Learning event at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. Attendees gathered to learn about the latest GIST research and get support. Some participated in the GIST Do It Walk across the Tillikum Crossing bridge over the Willamette River. Speakers presented new information on GIST treatments, immunotherapy, clinical trials, and SDH-deficient GIST. After a question and answer session, everyone gathered on the rooftop patio to mingle.

The Heinrich Lab would like to thank the Life Raft Group and all of the organizers, speakers, patients, and participants for joining us at this special event. It’s always a joy to see familiar faces and connect over our common goal to find a cure for GIST.

Thank you, GIST Cancer Research Fund!

Each year, we look forward to the annual GIST Cancer Research Fund Conference and Luncheon at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute, not only to share insight about the latest treatments with patients and their families, but to reconnect with each other. In addition to working toward finding a cure for GIST, it’s so important to all of us in the Heinrich Lab to foster a community of collaboration and education for researchers, physicians, patients, and families. We want to express our sincere gratitude to the GCRF for another very generous donation to our efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease.

Mrs. Tania Stutman blows out her 70th birthday candles with Dr. Brian Druker.

This year’s conference was highlighted by the special presentation of a cupcake from Dr. Brian Druker to Tania Stutman, in celebration of her 70th birthday. Mrs. Stutman was one of the first GIST patients to take Gleevec nearly 20 years ago, which Dr. Druker developed. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to honor this amazing woman and we want to thank her for everything she’s done for other GIST patients.

Please be sure to watch our special Lab Tour video from last year and
see below for links to the speakers’ presentations:

2019 Vancouver GIST Day of Learning

On Saturday, April 27th, Dr. Heinrich participated in the Vancouver GIST Day of Learning, sponsored by the GIST Sarcoma Life Raft Group Canada.  He spoke about the “Development of the Next Generation of GIST Treatments” to GIST patients, family, caregivers and healthcare professionals. These events provide an essential educational and support resource for people who have GIST. 

2019 GIST Day of Learning

GDOL is a free one day event to help patients and caregivers learn more about this rare cancer, find support, and enhance their knowledge base to help them navigate their cancer journey.

The Life Raft Group has a simple focus: to cure a form of cancer — GIST — and to help those living with it until then. To do this, the Life Raft Group focuses on three key areas: research, patient support & education, and advocacy, which lay the foundation of our mission to ensure the survival of GIST patients through a comprehensive approach connecting individual patients’ needs, the worldwide community of GIST advocates and the global health and research environment.

Thank you, GCRF Patients, Families, and Friends!

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the 2018 GIST Education Conference and Luncheon. This event is always an excellent opportunity to connect and share information with patients, families, and friends who feel passionate about finding novel GIST treatments.  Plus, we love the chance to see familiar faces and meet new people who care about GIST.  Of course, we want to express our deep appreciation to the GCRF community for their incredibly generous donation. With your amazing fundraising efforts, we are able to continue to work hard to find a cure for this devastating disease.

Please be sure to watch our special Video of Dr. Heinrich and see below for links to the speakers’ presentations:

Dr. Michael Heinrich – Treatment of Imatinib-resistant GIST: The Next Generation

Lilli Klug – GCRF presentation 2018- Lilli Klug

Dr. Kevin G. Billingsley – Surgical Approaches to GIST in the Era of Targeted Therapy

Tracy Havnaer – How to Find and Participate in a GIST clinical trial 4 April 25, 2017