How You Can Help: Tissue Samples

Participate in Carcinosarcoma Research!

The Gynecologic Carcinosarcoma Project ( is funding groundbreaking carcinosarcoma research. This pioneering research is being conducted at the Birrer Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center in Boston with researchers from MGH, Harvard and the Broad Institute. More information on the research team is available here.

The GCS Project team recently visited the lab and met with the scientists to obtain an update on the research. The interviews are being posted on our blog, please read them here.

Research is Progressing

Fresh or Frozen Tissue Samples Needed

We are happy to report that the research is entering a new level and, as a result, the research team is in need of fresh or frozen carcinosarcoma tumor tissue specimens. Here is where you can make a major impact in this research for a cure!

The research team has obtained many “fixed” tumor samples from women all over the world, but it is lacking fresh or frozen specimens needed to conduct specific advanced testing. “Fixed” tumor specimens are those that have been preserved in the pathology lab right after a biopsy or surgery. If you had surgery or a biopsy, your tumor tissue most likely was sent to the pathology lab where it was “fixed” with a preservative. This is not always the case, but this is usually what happens.

The Carcinosarcoma Research Team now needs FRESH or FROZEN tumor specimens (specimens that have not been fixed). If you would like to donate fresh or frozen tumor tissue to the research project, here is how to do it:

  1. If you are scheduled for any of the following:
    • Biopsy or surgery for a newly diagnosed gynecological carcinosarcoma (GCS or MMMT of the ovary, uterus, fallopian tube, etc.)
    • Biopsy or surgery of metastatic GCS/MMMT disease
    • Biopsy or surgery for a recurrence of GCS/MMMT

    Ask your surgeon to have some fresh (if you are in the Boston area) or frozen tissue sent to the Birrer Lab. Information on where to have it sent is below.

  2. If you had a tumor biopsy or surgery for a gynecological carcinosarcoma (GCS/MMMT of the ovary, uterus, fallopian tube, etc.), ask your physician if there is any frozen tissue available for research.

Fresh or frozen tumor specimens should be sent to:

Birrer Group
Surg/Onc GRJ 910
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit St.,
Boston MA 02114

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4 thoughts on “How You Can Help: Tissue Samples

  1. Q. Can Canadians participate? My interested doctors researchers are Dr.J. McAlpine and Dr. A. Tinker, both GYN./ONC at BCCancerAgency in Vancouver,B.C., Canada.

    Q. What is your timeline?( is there a current deadline for samples?

    Q. s there a contact number, email, for info from the project??( for doctors)

  2. I was diagnosed in may 2015 at md Andersen cooper cancer center and I think they froze mine I can check but I would like to find out since I think I am recurring now will know soon can I have samples sent or donate my body (if it comes to that) to help others what would I need to do?

  3. My mother was diagnosed with uterus MMMT in the year 2015, she has a clear hysterectomy and now she has recurrence to her lungs . All mutation tests are coming negative and no drug seems to help her to reduce.
    Please let us know if your conducting trial for such aggressive tumours.

    1. I apologize for the delayed response. I am sorry to hear of your mother’s diagnosis and recurrence. There are not clinical trials specific to GCS. Where is your other being treated? Does her treatment team have access to research and clinical trial information? If not, I recommend that you seek other opinions for your mother. Centers that see a lot of carcinosarcoma will be knowledgeable about clinical trial and treatment options.
      Best to your mother.

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