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Considering the role of radiation therapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumor

Authors Corbin KS, Kindler H, Liauw S

Received 14 March 2014

Accepted for publication 15 April 2014

Published 12 May 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 713—718


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Kimberly S Corbin,1 Hedy L Kindler,2 Stanley L Liauw3

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL, USA; 2Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; 3Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare mesenchymal tumors arising in the gastrointestinal tract. Over the last decade, the management and prognosis of GISTs has changed dramatically with molecular characterization of the c-kit mutation and the adoption of targeted systemic therapy. Currently, the standard of care for resectable tumors is surgery, followed by adjuvant imatinib for tumors at high risk for recurrence. Inoperable or metastatic tumors are treated primarily with imatinib. Despite excellent initial response rates, resistance to targeted therapy has emerged as a common clinical problem, with relatively few therapeutic solutions. While the treatment of GISTs does not commonly include radiotherapy, radiation therapy could be a valuable contributing modality. Several case reports indicate that radiation can control locally progressive, drug-resistant disease. Further study is necessary to define whether radiation could potentially prevent or delay the onset of drug resistance, or improve outcomes when given in combination with imatinib.

Keywords: GIST, imatinib, radiotherapy

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