Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare mesenchymal tumors arising in the gastrointestinal tract. Over the last decade, the management and prognosis of GISTs has changed dramatically with molecular characterization of the c-kit mutation and the adoption of targeted systemic therapy. Currently, the standard of care for resectable tumors is surgery, followed by adjuvant imatinib for tumors at high risk for recurrence. Inoperable or metastatic tumors are treated primarily with imatinib. Despite excellent initial response rates, resistance to targeted therapy has emerged as a common clinical problem, with relatively few therapeutic solutions. While the treatment of GISTs does not commonly include radiotherapy, radiation therapy could be a valuable contributing modality. Several case reports indicate that radiation can control locally progressive, drug-resistant disease. Further study is necessary to define whether radiation could potentially prevent or delay the onset of drug resistance, or improve outcomes when given in combination with imatinib.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)