Article Abstract

Surgical treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors of the stomach: current status and future perspective

Authors: Kheng Tian Lim


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, with the majority found in the stomach. Surgical resection of the primary gastric GISTs with complete resection margin has been the forefront of curative treatment. The indications for surgical resection are usually related to symptomatic gastric GISTs at presentation. Primary gastric GISTs resection performed conventionally through an open surgery can now be frequently achieved by minimal invasive surgery with similar oncological outcome. Surgeon’s selection of the type of surgical techniques such as open, laparoscopic and endoscopic resections depends on the site, size and local invasion of gastric GISTs to the adjacent organ. Similarly those factors dictate the extent of gastric resections in the form of wedge, partial or total gastrectomy. All these inherent tumor factors (size and mitotic index), patient factors (older age, male) and surgical factors (incomplete resection margin, tumor rupture or spillage) play an important role in stratifying the malignant potential risk of primary gastric GISTs and their chances of recurrence. The understanding of gene mutation driving the growth of GISTs and the discovery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has altered the surgical management of advanced and metastatic GISTs. Multi-modal therapy incorporating the surgical resection of GISTs and utilizing the molecular targeted therapy in the adjuvant, neoadjuvant and palliative settings can offer optimal personalized outcome and prolong patient’s overall survival (OS).