Molecular Biology of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most frequent mesenchymal neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract. KIT and PDGFR are commonly mutated RTKs. We aim at unraveling the mechanisms that are regulated by interactions between miRNAs and their target genes as well as in the identification of novel driver genes in this tumor type.

We have shown the contribution of miRNAs in disease development and tumor progression (Haller 2010). Currently, we are examining the role of genetic and epigenetic factors in tumor progression of several GIST subtypes (based on mutation and localization) both in cell lines and, increasingly, in patients.

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