Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q: Do I need to be a Vanderbilt patient to participate in the GAP Study?

A: No! While we are recruiting Vanderbilt patients to participate in the GAP Study, we are also looking for individuals diagnosed with appendix cancer around the USA! Visit this webpage to learn more about if you may be eligible to participate.

Q: How do I know if I've won a gift card from the GAP Study?

GAP participants who have completed their baseline survey and returned their saliva sample to our study team are entered into a monthly raffle for one of two $40 Amazon gift cards. We draw names around the middle of each month and will reach out to you via phone or email if you've won, so keep your eyes peeled! Recent gift card winners include:

Misty B, Cyndee W, Kat H, Kimberly L, Judine C, Nancy W, Janet C, and Tonya H, Amy V, and Christine H.

Q: Can I find the GAP Study on

A: Yes! As a clinical study*, the GAP Study has been assigned a Identifier (NCT05734430) and is accessible via this link:


*The GAP Study is by definition not a clinical trial. It is another type of clinical study called an observational study. More information on study types found here.

Q: If I am a Vanderbilt patient, will participating in the GAP Study affect the amount of time I have with my doctor?

A: No, our meeting with not decrease the amount of time you will have with your healthcare provider in the clinic. Whether you decide to participate in this study or not, your medical care in our clinics will not be affected.

Q: How does my medical and pathology record help appendix cancer research?

A: We request access to your medical/pathology records because they will help us accurately record information about your appendix cancer diagnosis. This is important because the GAP Study is working to understand how the hereditary component of appendix cancer may vary based on certain tumor characteristics.

Importantly, your information is secure, your data is protected with a code to keep it confidential, and your privacy will be maintained.

Q: Why is the GAP Study asking for my saliva sample?

A: Saliva is a reliable, non-invasive and simple way to collect DNA for genetic testing in your home. This means your saliva sample could potentially help us discover a genetic link to appendix cancer!

Q: How soon will I receive my results from the GAP Study?

A: Our team works diligently to get tests run and results returned as timely as possible but, due to numerous external factors with research, we cannot guarantee a specific timeline for return of results.

Q: How long will it take me to collect the saliva sample?

A: This process is relatively quick—it takes 2 to 5 minutes on average for most people to fill the tube with their saliva.

Q: How do I send the pre-paid FedEx Small Box back to the GAP Study?

A: There are several convenient options to send back the pre-paid Small Box (with your capped saliva tube in the plastic bag and collection form)!

You may take the box to a local FedEx Drop-Off location, call the GAP Team to arrange a free pick-up from your home at (615) 936-8544, or visit the FedEx website to schedule your free pick-up at

Q: I have not yet received my saliva collection kit in the mail. What should I do?

A: Please allow 7 to 10 days for your saliva collection kit to be delivered to you--especially as holidays and special conditions may delay FedEx shipping. If it has been over a week since you submitted the survey and you still haven't received your kit, please reach out to our study staff at (615) 936-8544 or for an update on the tracking status. 

Q: I might be missing materials in my saliva collection kit. What should I do?

A: Your kit should contain an instruction packet, OGR-600 saliva tube kit, a clear leak-proof return bag, collection form and pen. If you are missing any of these items, please contact us at your convenience by phone (615) 936-8544 or e-mail, and we will be happy to mail you these materials at no cost.

Q: I am having trouble producing saliva for the sample. Are there any tips?

A: Yes! We understand that collecting saliva is not an everyday event. Some tips we recommend are: massage your cheeks for 30 seconds with your fingers, smell or imagine acidic foods (like a lemon!), make chewing movements or think about your favorite food.

Q: When is the best time of day to collect my saliva sample?

A: We recommend collecting the saliva sample in the morning before eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, smoking or chewing gum. If this is not possible, any other time of day works! In that case, it is important for the sample processing that you wait at least 30 minutes after eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum before starting your saliva collection.

Q: Why am I being asked to share contact information for my biological parent(s)?

A: One of the GAP Study goals is to learn about how genetic changes inherited from a parent may increase the likelihood of developing appendix cancer. To do so, we ask to contact your biological parent(s). If they agree to participate in the GAP Study, they will be asked to provide one saliva sample—mailed at no cost to them—and complete a short saliva collection form.

Q: I am unable to upload my medical/pathology report to the secure online survey. What should I do?

A: Our team is happy to assist you! Please contact us at or (615) 936-8544.

Q: I can't find the return access code to my online survey. Where can I get this code?

A: Your survey responses are protected with a code because we make every reasonable effort to keep your personal information private. Please contact our study team/coordinator at any time. Our team will look up this unique code and share the code/personalized survey link with you over the phone, by e-mail or text message—whichever is easiest for you.

Q: I misplaced my survey. How do I get a new copy?

A: No problem at all. Just give us a quick call at (615) 936-8544 or send us a note at, and we can get a new paper copy sent to your home right away at no cost to you! We will also send you a pre-paid return envelope for the survey.

Q: I have completed my survey(s) using paper forms. How do I return it to the study team?

 A: All paper surveys can be mailed back to the study office at 2525 West End Ave. Suite 800, Nashville, TN 37203, using the pre-paid envelope we have provided. You can also bring your survey with you to your next clinic visit at Vanderbilt and pass it on to any member of your medical team or study staff. 

Q: How can I get more information about this clinical study?

A: If you would like to learn more about the GAP Study, please visit the other sections of our website. You may also reach out to us anytime, and our team will be more than happy to speak with you! At your convenience, our staff is available by phone at (615) 936-8544 or e-mail at

Q: I am having trouble accessing an article related to the GAP Study. How can I freely view this document?

A: Please call or e-mail us at with your request, and we will arrange to send you a copy of the article via e-mail (PDF) or postal mail (paper).