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APMIS. 2006 Mar;114(3):192-200.

Trends in incidence and survival of mesenchymal neoplasm of the digestive tract within a defined population of northern Norway.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromsø, Norway.


Population-based incidence and survival data for gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are sparse due to the fact that GIST is a rather novel entity both clinically and pathologically, and has not been registered as a separate entity in population-based cancer registries. The aim of the present study was to reclassify all mesenchymal tumors within a defined population of northern Norway over a time-span of 30 years with the purpose of estimating trends of incidence and survival. One hundred and forty-one patients with mesenchymal neoplasms of the digestive tract were identified: 102 as GISTs, 32 as leiomyomatous tumors, 4 as schwannomas, and 3 as fibromas. Incidence rates of GIST showed a significant increase over the whole period, which was not observed for the non-GIST cases. Analysis of GIST cases showed that cases with more than 5 mitoses per 50 high power fields had an increased expected mortality 4 times that of those with fewer mitoses, and the combination of mitotic count and size of tumor can be recommended for categorizing the tumors into different risk levels. The study confirms that GIST is by far the most frequent mesenchymal neoplasm of the digestive tract and that the incidence has increased over the last 30 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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