- A protein found on the surface of many different types of cells. It binds to a substance called stem cell factor (SCF), which causes certain types of blood cells to grow. C-kit may also be found in higher than normal amounts, or in a changed form, on some types of cancer cells, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors and melanoma. Measuring the amount of c-kit in tumor tissue may help diagnose cancer and plan treatment. C-kit is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase and a type of tumor marker. Also called CD117 and stem cell factor receptor.