On June 18th and 19th, 2008 the National Institutes of Health hosted a conference and a clinic focusing on
pediatric gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). In attendance were clinicians and basic science researchers
from across the nation, members of GIST Support International and LifeRaft Group, and 14 patients and their
families. The NIH would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and energy to help in this endeavor
of finding ways to understand and treat pediatric GIST. The inaugural clinic was vey successful and we are proud
to announce that these clinics will continue twice yearly. In addition, we found that all of the patients who
attended the first clinic had wildtype GIST, which prompted us to expand the clinic to include patients with
pediatric or wildtype GIST.
Our commitment is to hold as many clinics as necessary, until every patient who wishes to participate has had the
opportunity to attend. We will also continue to communicate with patients, families and physicians of those who
attended previous clinics. Follow-up visits at subsequent clinics are also encouraged. This will allow us to
monitor how everyone is doing over a long period of time.
The sections that follow contain background articles concentrating on pediatric or wildtype GIST, the
rationale for this initiative, and some of the results from the inaugural clinic. Following the completion of the 2nd Pediatric and wildtype GIST clinic in January, we will begin to post
a series of articles on the results that we obtained as a consequence of these clinics.