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Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Nov 17;11(12):865-78. doi: 10.1038/nrc3143.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours: origin and molecular oncology.

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Knight Cancer Institute, Division of Haematology & Oncology, and Department of Pathology, Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are a paradigm for the development of personalized treatment for cancer patients. The nearly simultaneous discovery of a biomarker that is reflective of their origin and the presence of gain-of-function kinase mutations in these tumours set the stage for more accurate diagnosis and the development of kinase inhibitor therapy. Subsequent studies of genotype and phenotype have led to a molecular classification of GIST and to treatment optimization on the basis of molecular subtype. The study of drug-resistant tumours has advanced our understanding of kinase biology, enabling the development of novel kinase inhibitors. Further improvements in GIST treatment may require targeting GIST stem cell populations and/or additional genomic events.

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