Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Current criteria for the diagnosis of malignant GISTs do not always reliably predict patient outcomes. In order to search for genetic markers with prognostic potential, chromosomal imbalance aberrations (CIAs) were analyzed in 28 subjects with GIST using comparative genomic hybridization and correlated with clinicopathological features. Except for a small rectal tumor, CIAs were identified in all GISTs, including 14 from the stomach, 11 from the small intestine, 1 from the esophagus, and 1 from the rectum. Losses were more common than gains. The median number of CIAs in high-risk GISTs was significantly higher than that in low-risk GISTs (5.60 +/- 2.59 vs. 3.38 +/- 2.55; p < 0.05), especially for losses (4.60 +/- 1.84 vs. 2.63 +/- 2.13; p < 0.01). Loss of 14q was the most common CIA in both low-risk and high-risk GISTs, and can be regarded as an early event of GIST development. Losses of 1p and 15q were also very common, often coexisting, and were slightly more frequent in high-risk GISTs than in low-risk GISTs. Other recurrent CIAs, including losses of 10q, 13q, 15q, 18q, and 22q and gains of 5p, 12q, 17q, and 20q were relatively less common in this series. Among these CIAs, losses of 13q, 10q (with minimal overlapping on q11-q22), and 22q were most likely the chromosomal loci potentially harboring the tumor suppressor gene(s) which may be related to early recurrence and/or metastasis during malignant transformation of GISTs.
Copyright 2004 National Science Council, ROC and S. Karger AG, Basel