Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 536–545 | Cite as

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs): SEAP–SEOM consensus on pathologic and molecular diagnosis

  • J. Martin-BrotoEmail author
  • V. Martinez-Marín
  • C. Serrano
  • N. Hindi
  • J. A. López-Guerrero
  • R. Ramos-Asensio
  • A. Vallejo-Benítez
  • D. Marcilla-Plaza
  • R. González-Cámpora
Special Article


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of the digestive tract, with an incidence of 1.1 cases/100,000 inhabitants/year. A group of experts from the Spanish Society of Pathology and the Spanish Society of Oncology met to discuss a brief update on GISTs and agree on aspects relating to the pathological and molecular diagnosis of these tumors. GISTs are generally solitary, well-circumscribed lesions of variable size (<10 mm–35 cm) that may present with intra- or extra-luminal parietal growth or a mixed-type (hourglass) growth pattern. Histologically, they are unencapsulated neoplasms displaying expansive growth and spindle-shaped (70%), epithelioid (20%), or mixed cellularity (10%). Mitotic activity is generally moderate or low and should be evaluated only in areas with high cellularity or higher mitotic frequency. The great majority of GISTs harbour mutually exclusive activating mutations in genes coding for the type III receptor tyrosine kinases KIT and PDGFRA; less commonly, GISTs have also been reported to display mutations elsewhere, including BRAF and NF1 and SDH-complex genes. The method most widely used to detect KIT and PDGFRA mutations is amplification of the exons involved by polymerase chain reaction followed by direct sequencing (Sanger method) of these amplification products. Molecular analyses should always specify the type of analysis performed, the region or mutations evaluated, and the sensitivity of the detection method employed.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumor GIST Pathologic diagnosis Molecular diagnosis Consensus 



The authors would like to thank Fernando Rico-Villademoros (COCIENTE SL, Madrid, Spain) for editorial assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. SEOM and SEAP are grateful for financial support for this project in the form of unrestricted Grants from Bayer and Pfizer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that, when writing and revising the text, they did not know the names of the pharmaceutical companies that provided financial support for this project, so this support has not influenced the content of this article.

Ethical statement

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Martin-Broto
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. Martinez-Marín
    • 2
  • C. Serrano
    • 3
  • N. Hindi
    • 1
  • J. A. López-Guerrero
    • 4
  • R. Ramos-Asensio
    • 5
  • A. Vallejo-Benítez
    • 6
  • D. Marcilla-Plaza
    • 7
  • R. González-Cámpora
    • 6
  1. 1.Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, IBIS, Medical OncologyVirgen del Rocío University HospitalSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Medical OncologyLa Paz University HospitalMadridSpain
  3. 3.Sarcoma Translational Research Laboratory, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO)Vall d’Hebron University HospitalBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Laboratory of Molecular BiologyFundación Instituto Valenciano de OncologíaValenciaSpain
  5. 5.Pathology DepartmentSon Espases University HospitalPalma de MallorcaSpain
  6. 6.Pathology DepartmentVirgen Macarena University HospitalSevilleSpain
  7. 7.Pathology DepartmentVirgen del Rocío University HospitalSevilleSpain

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