Contemporary pathology of gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Department of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 25, A 8036 Graz, Austria.
Hematology/oncology clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 2.07). 03/2009; 23(1):49-68, vii-viii. DOI: 10.1016/j.hoc.2008.12.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. The vast majority of GISTs harbor a KIT or PDGFRA mutation and express KIT by immunohistochemistry. However, KIT-negative tumors and tumors showing unusual morphologic features can cause major diagnostic problems. The ability to inhibit the active KIT or PDGFRA kinase with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and alternative drugs demands more than ever accurate tumor classification and risk assessment. This article focuses on the pathology of GIST, including unusual variants and morphologic changes resulting from treatment. Parameters for risk assessment, potentially helpful new immunohistochemical markers, differential diagnosis, and the application of molecular classification schemes are discussed.

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