Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor directed against the enzymatic domain of KIT protein, was found to produce dramatic clinical responses in metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). However, resistance usually develops thus determining treatment failure. The present study was performed to analyse the expression of somatostatin receptor (SSTR) subtypes, modulators of tissue transglutaminase, in a series of GISTs and leiomyosarcomas by immunohistochemistry to identify a new potential therapeutic target. Sixteen cases (8 males and 8 females, age range: 38-73; 11 GISTs, 4 leiomyosarcomas, 1 leiomyoma) were studied. Immunohistochemical detection of the relevant SSTRs was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue sections, stained with polyclonal antibodies directed against the five somatostatin receptor subtypes. We found 7 out of 16 (44%) tumors expressing all SSTRs and 14 out of 16 (87%) tumors positive for at least 3 subtypes. SSTR2A was the most represented subtype in the tumors studied, being expressed in approximately 70% of cases exhibiting an intense labeling in most of these cases. The significant expression of SSTRs shown in this series of GISTs and gastrointestinal leiomyosarcomas suggests a potential therapeutic target to be explored alone and/or in combination with other therapeutic agents in the setting of refractory GI stromal tumors.
- Gastrointestinal leiomyosarcomas
- Somatostatin receptor
- Tissue transglutaminase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry