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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jun;35(6):338-41. Epub 2005 May 31.

Surgery including liver resection for metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors or gastrointestinal leiomyosarcomas.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, National Cancer Center, Tokyo,, Japan.



In recent years, imatinib mesylate (STI 571), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has shown short-term clinical usefulness for gastrointestinal stromal tumor or gastrointestinal leiomyosarcoma (GIST). The value of surgical resection, including hepatectomy, for metastatic GIST remains unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the outcome of surgical resection, including hepatectomy, for metastatic GIST at a single institute.


Eighteen patients who underwent hepatectomy for metastatic GIST were identified and the clinicopathological data of these patients were analyzed retrospectively.


The primary site of GIST included stomach in 10, duodenum in five, ileum in two and esophagus in one patient. A hemihepatectomy or greater resection was undertaken in eight patients. Six patients underwent simultaneous resection for primary and hepatic disease. There was no in-hospital mortality in this series. The post-hepatectomy 3- and 5-year survival rates were 63.7 and 34.0% respectively, with a median of 36 (17-227) months. Recurrence after the initial hepatectomy was documented in 17 patients (94%), and metastatic mass of the remnant liver developed in 15 of these 17 patients (88%). Three patients survived >5 years after the initial hepatectomy who underwent multiple surgical resections during this period. No clinicopathological characteristic was a significant predictive factor for survival.


Multiple surgical resections, including hepatectomy, may contribute to important palliation in selected patients with metastatic GIST. Surgical cure seems to be difficult due to the high frequency of repeat metastasis to various sites. Therefore, adjuvant therapy must be required in the treatment of metastatic GIST.

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