We report cytogenetic findings in 19 c-Kit-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) that represent a heterogenous group of mesenchymal neoplasms with respect to site, histology, and biologic behavior. All of the GISTs (5 low-risk, 11 high-risk, 3 recurrences) displayed clonal chromosomal aberrations; 15 were hypo- to near-diploid, and 4 were near-triploid and hypotetraploid. The most common abnormalities were loss of chromosomes 14 and/or 22, demonstrated in 14 GISTs irrespective of site or predominant phenotype. Ten cases (2 low-risk, 5 high-risk, 3 recurrences) were characterized by loss of both chromosomes 14 and 22, 2 cases (1 low-risk, 1 high- risk), by loss of chromosome 14; and 2 high-risk cases, by loss of chromosome 22. Additional chromosomal aberrations occurred preferentially in high-risk and recurrent GISTs, including loss of 9p and 1p in 8 cases each, loss of 15 in 6 cases, loss of 3p in 5 cases, loss of 13q and 10q in 4 cases each, loss of 19 in 3 cases, and complete or partial gains of chromosomes 5 and 4 in 2 cases each. More significantly, 5 of 6 patients with clinically aggressive GISTs, including 2 recurrences and 3 metastasing GISTs, were additionally characterized by loss of 9p; four of these had additional loss of chromosomes 1p and 15. The presented results herein indicate that loss of chromosome 14 and/or 22 is an early change in GIST tumorigenesis irrespective of site or differentiation, whereas malignant transformation and progression of GISTs appear to be associated with an increasing incidence of additional secondary aberrations.
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