[Gastrointestinal stromal tumors]

Ann Ital Chir. 2011 Mar-Apr;82(2):97-109.
[Article in Italian]


Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) account for 1% of all gastrointestinal neoplasms and are the most common mesenchymal tumor of gastrointestinal tract. There are considered to originate fom the intestinal cell of Cajal, an intestinal pacemaker cell, characterized usually express the KIT protein on immunohistochemistry. The stomach (40-60%) and small intestine (30-40%) are the most common locations. Diagnosis of these tumors is difficult to establish, because symptoms are vague and traditional diagnostic tests are not specific. GISTs shows a wide variety of clinical behaviours ranging fom benign to frankly malignant, making the outcome totally unpredictable. Surgery is the standard treatment of local GIST while Imatinib (tyrosine kinasi inhibitor) is considered as the standard treatment of metastatic disease. Resistence to Imatinib is also becoming a major clinical problem but new tirosyne kinase inibitor are being studied to improve the treatment and survival. The present paper is a review of the salient features of epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, therapy and prognostic factors of GIST

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzamides
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Disease Progression
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors* / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors* / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors* / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Indoles / therapeutic use
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy
  • Sunitinib
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Indoles
  • Piperazines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Sunitinib