Surgery Today

, Volume 40, Issue 10, pp 936–942 | Cite as

Resection combined with imatinib therapy for liver metastases of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

  • Lin Xia
  • Ming-Ming Zhang
  • Lin Ji
  • Xin Li
  • Xiao-Ting Wu
Original Article



To evaluate the effectiveness of resecting liver metastases of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), when performed in conjunction with imatinib treatment.


Forty-one patients with pathologically diagnosed GIST and liver metastases were randomly assigned to an operation group (neoadjuvant therapy + resection + adjuvant therapy with imatinib) or a nonoperation group (imatinib alone). Patients were monitored for up to 36 months, and survival was analyzed.


We monitored 39 patients throughout the 36-month follow-up period, recording 1- and 3-year survival rates of 100% and 89.5% in the operation group and 85% and 60% in the nonoperation group, respectively. There was a significant difference in overall survival between the operation and nonoperation groups (P = 0.03). Furthermore, resection improved the survival of patients who responded poorly to 6 months of preoperative imatinib treatment, compared with that of their counterparts in the nonoperation group (P = 0.04).


These findings suggest that surgical intervention in combination with imatinib treatment is more effective than imatinib alone against GIST liver metastases, with minimal complications and side effects.

Key words

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor Surgery Neoadjuvant therapy Tyrosine kinase inhibitor Imatinib 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Xia
    • 1
  • Ming-Ming Zhang
    • 1
  • Lin Ji
    • 2
  • Xin Li
    • 3
  • Xiao-Ting Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryWest China Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduPR China
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyWest China Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduPR China
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics, College of Natural ScienceUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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