Molecular analysis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), previously classified as smooth muscle tumors, constitute the most important group of primary mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. These tumors occur at all levels of the gastrointestinal tract and usually present between the 6th and 8 th decades of life. GISTs are believed to arise from the stem cells of Cajal. Clinically and pathologically, GISTs represent a spectrum of tumors including benign and malignant variants. GIST that has a high likelihood of malignant behavior is generally identified by increased mitotic activity and larger tumor size. However, in some cases, the prediction of malignant potential is difficult as small tumors with low mitotic activity may occasionally metastasize. Furthermore, a small GIST from the small intestine may be associated with a worse prognosis than a large tumor from the stomach. Therefore, the distinction between benign and malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) is often unclear at the clinical and histopathology levels requiring multiparametric approaches. The recent development of comprehensive approaches for the analyses of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome provide a unique opportunity to identify the genetic profile of GISTs. Thus, it becomes possible to discover the molecular biomarkers and identify target genes related to GIST progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalGann Monographs on Cancer Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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