Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is the most common mesenchymal tumour of the gastrointestinal tract. Although GIST has been clinically recognized for almost 20 years, a standard definition has only recently been clarified. These tumours were frequently classified as leiomyomas, leiomyosarcomas, leiomyoblastomas, or gastrointestinal autonomic nerve tumours1. Over the past few years, scientists have begun to unravel the molecular abnormalities that underlie the pathogenesis of these tumours. They are now considered to share a common progenitor cell with the interstitial cells of Cajal2. GISTs are characterized by immunohistochemical expression of the CD117 antigen. Surgery is the main line of treatment in operable cases. GISTs are highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor is an approved specific target for systemic therapy.
The author had the chance of managing several patients diagnosed to have GISTs, recently three of them were managed during the last few months, and two more new cases are awaiting their surgery. This report is a presentation of these cases and a highlight of the clinical features, pathology, diagnosis and management of GISTs.