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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 131  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 235-240

Radiotherapy for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Department of Radiation Oncology, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta 32260, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Emine Elif Ozkan
Department of Radiation Oncology, Suleyman Demirel University, Suleyman Demirel Street, Cunur, Isparta 32260
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0366-6999.222344

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Objective: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, which frequently cause intraabdominal metastases. The current standard of care is surgery for localized cases, and adjuvant imatinib is recommended for tumors with a high risk of recurrence. To date, radiotherapy has not been commonly accepted as a part of multimodality treatment approach other than palliation. However, recently published case reports and some small series suggest that radiotherapy is a valuable option for controlling locally progressive, drug-resistant disease. The aim of this review is to provide a viewpoint from a radiation oncologist concerning the management of GISTs, especially rectal GIST, and clarify the role and technical aspects of radiotherapy in the treatment approach. Data Sources: A comprehensive search in PubMed using the keywords “radiotherapy for rectal GIST” and “rectal GIST” was undertaken. The literature search included the related articles after 1995. Study Selection: The main articles including rectal GIST case reports and GIST series containing rectal cases were the primary references. Results: Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. However, to date, radiotherapy is included in the multidisciplinary treatment strategy of rectal GISTs in some circumstances with palliative, adjuvant, or definitive intent using different treatment doses and fields. Conclusions: Recently reported long-term local control rates indicate that GIST is a radiosensitive disease. This makes radiotherapy a valuable alternative in GIST management with curative intent, especially in patients who (1) cannot tolerate or are resistant to chemotherapy agents, (2) have an unresectable disease, (3) have a gross or microscopic residual disease after surgery, and (4) have a recurrent disease.

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