Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

  • Chi TarnEmail author
  • Andrew K. Godwin
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2336-3



Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a type of sarcoma (i.e., a connective tissue neoplasia). GIST is a rare cancer affecting the digestive tract or nearby structures within the abdomen.


Epidemiology and Clinical-Pathological Features of GIST

GISTs are believed to arise from the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), the pacemaker cells for the autonomous movement of the GI tract. Other studies have suggested that GISTs arise from interstitial mesenchymal precursor stem cells; however, pinpointing the progenitor cell has been difficult. Although it is considered a rare tumor, nearly 4,500–6,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the USA. The peak incidence of GIST occurs later in life with a median age of 58 years; however, there are also reports of pediatric GISTs. The most common sites of origin for GIST are the stomach (39–70 %) and small intestine (31–45 %). Other primary sites include the large bowel, rectum, appendix, and rarely the...


Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Imatinib Mesylate Metastatic Gist Longe Progression Free Survival Juxtamembrane Domain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The University of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA