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World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jul 14;24(26):2806-2817. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i26.2806.

Current clinical management of gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Aso Iizuka Hospital, Iizuka 820-8505, Japan.
Department of Pathology, Aso Iizuka Hospital, Iizuka 820-8505, Japan.
Department of Surgery, Aso Iizuka Hospital, Iizuka 820-8505, Japan.
Department of Gastroenterology, Aso Iizuka Hospital, Iizuka 820-8505, Japan.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common malignant subepithelial lesions (SELs) of the gastrointestinal tract. They originate from the interstitial cells of Cajal located within the muscle layer and are characterized by over-expression of the tyrosine kinase receptor KIT. Pathologically, diagnosis of a GIST relies on morphology and immunohistochemistry [KIT and/or discovered on gastrointestinal stromal tumor 1 (DOG1) is generally positive]. The prognosis of this disease is associated with the tumor size and mitotic index. The standard treatment of a GIST without metastasis is surgical resection. A GIST with metastasis is usually only treated by tyrosine kinase inhibitors without radical cure; thus, early diagnosis is the only way to improve its prognosis. However, a GIST is usually detected as a SEL during endoscopy, and many benign and malignant conditions may manifest as SELs. Conventional endoscopic biopsy is difficult for tumors without ulceration. Most SELs have therefore been managed without a histological diagnosis. However, a favorable prognosis of a GIST is associated with early histological diagnosis and R0 resection. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and EUS-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) are critical for an accurate diagnosis of SELs. EUS-FNA is safe and effective in enabling an early histological diagnosis and adequate treatment. This review outlines the current evidence for the diagnosis and management of GISTs, with an emphasis on early management of small SELs.


Diagnosis; Endoscopic ultrasonography; Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration; Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Therapy

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