The introduction of imatinib, an orally administered inhibitor of the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase, is prompting revision of the management algorithms that have traditionally guided the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Historically, patients with GISTs have had substantial rates of relapse as well as limited long-term survival even after complete surgical resection of a primary tumor. Imatinib has been shown to induce durable tumor responses in more than half of the patients with malignant metastatic or unresectable GISTs and to halt disease progression in an additional third. These encouraging results have led to the initiation of clinical trials of imatinib as an adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy with surgery. Until relevant data are reported to provide definitive direction for the management of operable or potentially operable GISTs, treatment decisions must be made on the basis of the available evidence and clinical experience with imatinib. This paper presents selected case studies describing approaches to the combined use of surgery and systemic therapy that have been applied in the treatment of individual GIST patients. The management of GIST in these cases required a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach involving medical oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, gastroenterologists, surgeons, and pathologists.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor therapy
- Tyrosine-kinase inhibition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research