Purpose: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are commonly regarded as solitary tumors. The occurrence of multiple lesions is considered an extraordinary event restricted to pediatric GISTs and rare hereditary conditions. Beyond these well-defined situations, the presentation of multiple synchronous lesions is commonly viewed as the result of the metastatic spreading of a single primary GIST. Based on this axiom, patients with multifocal disease are classified as advanced stage and treated as such. Whether, indeed, the detection of several lesions in sporadic adult GIST patients may be suggestive of phenomena of tumor multiplicity still needs to be clarified. Experimental Design: From a multicentric series of 442 consecutive cases, 26 of which with advanced disease, we selected 5 patients who presented up to three distinct GIST nodules. Five additional cases with similar characteristics were also contributed by two other institutions. The clonal relationship between the synchronous lesions was assessed by comparing KIT/PDGFRA mutation and microsatellite pattern. Results: An independent origin of the synchronous lesions was established in 6 of 10 cases. Notably, in one patient, one lesion arose in the peritoneum, which is ordinarily regarded as a site of metastasis. Conclusions: Our data indicate that a significant fraction of GIST patients with multifocal presentation are actually affected by multiple primary tumors, suggesting that mesenchymal GIST precursor cells of these individuals are somehow primed to transformation. Thus, in the presence of multifocal GIST manifestations, an accurate characterization of the different tumor sites should be undertaken for a proper patient staging and therapy planning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research