Insights into the medical management of gastrointestinal stromal tumours: lessons learnt from a dedicated gastrointestinal stromal tumour clinic in North India

16 Jan 2023
Annie Kanchan Baa, Sameer Rastogi, Sanal Fernandes, Shakti Shrivastava, Rajni Yadav, Adarsh Barwad, Shamim A Shamim, Nihar Ranjan Dash

Background: The advent of molecular driver alterations has brought in a revolutionary transformation in the treatment landscape of gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST). However, there is a paucity of data regarding mutational testing prevalence and associated outcomes from India.

Methods: It was a retrospective study. We reviewed the case records of all patients diagnosed with GIST in a tertiary care centre from 2015 to 2021. The clinicopathological, mutational analysis and treatment plans were recorded. The study cohort was characterised by descriptive statistics.

Results: Our study included 120 patients with a median age of 53 years (range: 28–77), with a male preponderance of 2:1. The most common site of the primary was the stomach (50%), followed by the small intestine (37%), with 55.8% of the patients having disseminated disease at presentation with a predominance of liver metastasis (67%). The prevalence of mutational analysis among patients prior to referral was 4%. 60.8% of the patients at our clinic had mutational analysis performed, and unavailability of analysis in the rest was due to financial constraints (12.5%), exhaustion of tissue (7.5%), reluctance to repeat biopsy (4.1%) and low-risk patients. We report c-kit in the majority (52%), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) in 19.2% and wild type in 16.4% along with the rarer subtypes: succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient GIST in 10.9% and Neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) fusion in 1.3%. Four of the eight SDH-deficient GIST patients had germline mutations (50%). The knowledge of driver mutations led to a change of treatment in 39.7% (29/73), i.e. stoppage of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) in 3, switch of TKI in 23, increase in TKI dose in 2 and upfront surgery in 1. The most common change was the use of sunitinib and regorafenib in patients with SDH-deficient GIST.

Conclusion: Our study is one of the largest comprehensive series describing the clinical and mutational profile of GIST from India. The mutation testing rates at primary care centres continue to be low. Despite the hurdles, a large percentage of our patients underwent molecular testing, aiding in therapeutic decision-making.

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