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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2011 Apr;37(4):319-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2011.01.005. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Post-operative imatinib in patients with intermediate or high risk gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

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Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of GI Oncology, Peking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, 52 Fucheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100142 China.

Erratum in

  • Eur J Surg Oncol. 2011 Oct;37(10):919.



This study aims to determine whether adjuvant treatment with imatinib improves recurrence-free survival (RFS) in Chinese patients undergoing complete resection of localized primary gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) compared with those not receiving adjuvant therapy. We also sought a correlation between c-KIT mutations and RFS.


Patients who had undergone complete tumor resection with intermediate or high risk of recurrence were enrolled in a single-center, non-randomized, prospective study. Patients either received adjuvant imatinib therapy (400 mg once-daily) for 3 years or did not. Mutation analyses of c-KIT were performed on available archival tumor samples.


105 patients were enrolled: 56 in the treatment group and 49 in the control group. Median follow-up was 45(43.1-46.9) months. RFS at 1, 2 and 3 years were higher in the treatment group than in the control group (100% vs. 90% at 1 year; 96% vs. 57% at 2 years; 89% versus 48% at 3 years, P < 0.001, HR = 0.188). Subgroup analyses showed that adjuvant therapy significantly decreased the risk of recurrence in patients whether at high risk or at intermediate risk compared with control patients (3-year RFS: 95% vs. 72%, in intermediate risk; 85% versus 31% in high risk; P < 0.001). In addition, imatinib adjuvant treatment decreased the risk of death (P = 0.025, [corrected] HR = 0.254).


Adjuvant imatinib can improve 1-, 2- and 3-year RFS rates in patients at intermediate or high risk of recurrence after complete tumor resection.



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