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      UK clinical practice guidelines for the management of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST)


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          Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare tumours arising in mesenchymal tissues. Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is the commonest STS and arises within the wall of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. While most GISTs occur in the stomach they do occur in all parts of the GI tract. As with other STS, it is important that GISTs are managed by expert teams, to ensure consistent and optimal treatment, as well as recruitment to clinical trials, and the ongoing accumulation of further knowledge of the disease. The development of appropriate guidance, by an experienced panel referring to the evidence available, is therefore a useful foundation on which to build progress in the field.


          British Sarcoma Group guidelines for the management of GIST were initially developed by a panel of physicians experienced in the management of GIST. This current version has been updated and amended with reference to other European and US guidance. We have received input from representatives of all diagnostic and treatment disciplines as well as patient representatives. Levels of evidence and strength of recommendation gradings are those used by ESMO adapted from those published by the Infectious Disease Society of America.


          The guidelines cover aetiology, genetics and underlying molecular mechanisms, diagnosis and initial investigations, staging and risk stratification, surgery, neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy, the management of advanced disease and follow-up. The importance of mutational analysis in guiding treatment is highlighted, since this can indicate the most effective treatment and avoid administration of ineffective drugs, emphasising the need for management in specialist centres.

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          Progression-free survival in gastrointestinal stromal tumours with high-dose imatinib: randomised trial.

          Imatinib is approved worldwide for use in gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). We aimed to assess dose dependency of response and progression-free survival with imatinib for metastatic GIST. 946 patients were randomly allocated imatinib 400 mg either once or twice a day. Those assigned the once a day regimen who had progression were offered the option of crossover. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. At median follow-up of 760 days (IQR 644-859), 263 (56%) of 473 patients allocated imatinib once a day had progressed compared with 235 (50%) of 473 who were assigned treatment twice a day (estimated hazard ratio 0.82 [95% CI 0.69-0.98]; p=0.026). Side-effects arose in 465/470 (99%) patients allocated the once daily regimen compared with 468/472 (99%) assigned treatment twice a day. By comparison with the group treated once a day, more dose reductions (77 [16%] vs 282 [60%]) and treatment interruptions (189 [40%] vs 302 [64%]) were recorded in patients allocated the twice daily regimen, but treatment in both arms was fairly well tolerated. 52 (5%) patients achieved a complete response, 442 (47%) a partial response, and 300 (32%) stable disease, with no difference between groups. Median time to best response was 107 days (IQR 58-172). If response induction is the only aim of treatment, a daily dose of 400 mg of imatinib is sufficient; however, a dose of 400 mg twice a day achieves significantly longer progression-free survival.
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            Adjuvant imatinib mesylate after resection of localised, primary gastrointestinal stromal tumour: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

            Gastrointestinal stromal tumour is the most common sarcoma of the intestinal tract. Imatinib mesylate is a small molecule that inhibits activation of the KIT and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha proteins, and is effective in first-line treatment of metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumour. We postulated that adjuvant treatment with imatinib would improve recurrence-free survival compared with placebo after resection of localised, primary gastrointestinal stromal tumour. We undertook a randomised phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. Eligible patients had complete gross resection of a primary gastrointestinal stromal tumour at least 3 cm in size and positive for the KIT protein by immunohistochemistry. Patients were randomly assigned, by a stratified biased coin design, to imatinib 400 mg (n=359) or to placebo (n=354) daily for 1 year after surgical resection. Patients and investigators were blinded to the treatment group. Patients assigned to placebo were eligible to crossover to imatinib treatment in the event of tumour recurrence. The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival, and analysis was by intention to treat. Accrual was stopped early because the trial results crossed the interim analysis efficacy boundary for recurrence-free survival. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00041197. All randomised patients were included in the analysis. At median follow-up of 19.7 months (minimum-maximum 0-56.4), 30 (8%) patients in the imatinib group and 70 (20%) in the placebo group had had tumour recurrence or had died. Imatinib significantly improved recurrence-free survival compared with placebo (98% [95% CI 96-100] vs 83% [78-88] at 1 year; hazard ratio [HR] 0.35 [0.22-0.53]; one-sided p<0.0001). Adjuvant imatinib was well tolerated, with the most common serious events being dermatitis (11 [3%] vs 0), abdominal pain (12 [3%] vs six [1%]), and diarrhoea (ten [2%] vs five [1%]) in the imatinib group and hyperglycaemia (two [<1%] vs seven [2%]) in the placebo group. Adjuvant imatinib therapy is safe and seems to improve recurrence-free survival compared with placebo after the resection of primary gastrointestinal stromal tumour. US National Institutes of Health and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
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              Phase III randomized, intergroup trial assessing imatinib mesylate at two dose levels in patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors expressing the kit receptor tyrosine kinase: S0033.

              To assess potential differences in progression-free or overall survival when imatinib mesylate is administered to patients with incurable gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) at a standard dose (400 mg daily) versus a high dose (400 mg twice daily). Patients with metastatic or surgically unresectable GIST were eligible for this phase III open-label clinical trial. At registration, patients were randomly assigned to either standard or high-dose imatinib, with close interval follow-up. If objective progression occurred by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, patients on the standard-dose arm could reregister to the trial and receive the high-dose imatinib regimen. Seven hundred forty-six patients with advanced GIST from 148 centers across the United States and Canada were enrolled onto this trial in 9 months. With a median follow-up of 4.5 years, median progression-free survival was 18 months for patients on the standard-dose arm, and 20 months for those receiving high-dose imatinib. Median overall survival was 55 and 51 months, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in objective response rates, progression-free survival, or overall survival. After progression on standard-dose imatinib, 33% of patients who crossed over to the high-dose imatinib regimen achieved either an objective response or stable disease. There were more grade 3, 4, and 5 toxicities noted on the high-dose imatinib arm. This trial confirms the effectiveness of imatinib as primary systemic therapy for patients with incurable GIST but did not show any advantage to higher dose treatment. It appears reasonable to initiate therapy with 400 mg daily and to consider dose escalation on progression of disease.

                Author and article information

                +44 7787 517486 , Ian.Judson@icr.ac.uk
                Clin Sarcoma Res
                Clin Sarcoma Res
                Clinical Sarcoma Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                21 April 2017
                21 April 2017
                : 7
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0304 893X, GRID grid.5072.0, The Institute of Cancer Research, , Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, ; Fulham Road, London, SW3 6JJ UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0622 5016, GRID grid.120073.7, , Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals, ; Cambridge, UK
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0612 2754, GRID grid.439749.4, , University College Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ; London, UK
                [4 ]Bristol Cancer Institute, University Hospitals, Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0417 1173, GRID grid.416201.0, , Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, ; Bristol, UK
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0304 893X, GRID grid.5072.0, , Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust London, ; London, UK
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Oncology & Radiotherapy


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