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Open Access Research article

A long-term follow-up of the imatinib mesylate treatment for the patients with recurrent gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): the liver metastasis and the outcome

Jiang Zhu1, Yu Yang2, Lin Zhou1, Ming Jiang3 and Mei Hou1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Center, West China hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China

2 The Second Department of Cancer Center, West China hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China

3 The First Department of Cancer Center, West China hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:199  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-199

Published: 13 May 2010

Abstract

Background

About 80% of patients with GIST would experience tumor recurrence or metastasis after radical resection. The most common site of the metastasis is the liver. Imatinib mesylate has been proved effective for advanced GIST. The present study was designed to further observe the effectiveness of the imatinib mesylate treatment on the recurrent GIST and the correlation between the liver metastasis and the outcome.

Methods

Forty-two patients who had recurrent GIST after the first radical resection were enrolled. According to the recurrent sites, the patients were divided into 3 groups: group LG (recurrent liver GISTs), group AG (recurrent abdominal GISTs) and group ALG (recurrent abdominal and liver GISTs). All the patients were given imatinib mesylate at an initial dose of 400 mg per day. Their clinical data was prospectively collected. A follow-up over 3 years was conducted. Tumor response, time to progression and survival were evaluated.

Results

The long-term Imatinib mesylate treatment was safe and well tolerated. At a median follow-up time for 39.5 months, the 3-year survival rate was 66.7%. Median TTP and OS were 37 months (95% CI: 28.2~45.8 months) and 48 months (95% CI: 37.0~58.9 months), respectively. There was no statistical difference in tumor response among the 3 groups. The similar TTP (P = 0.291) and OS (P = 0.160) were observed in the 3 groups.

Conclusions

The imatinib mesylate treatment could prolong the survival of the patients who have recurrent GIST after the radical surgery in spite of an existence of the liver metastasis. Survival was not significantly affected by liver metastasis when imatinib mesylate was warranted.