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Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Abdominal Cancers

Table 4. Common Genetic Syndromes Associated With Hamartomatous Polyps continued...

Treatment of GIST

Once the diagnosis of pediatric GIST is established, it is recommended that patients be seen at centers with expertise in the treatment of GIST and that all samples be subjected to mutational analysis for KIT (exons 9, 11, 13, 17), PDGFR (exons 12, 14, 18), and BRAF (V600E).[133,134]

Treatment of GIST varies based on whether a mutation is detected:

  • GIST with a KIT or PDGFR mutation: Pediatric patients who harbor KIT or PDGFR mutations should be managed according to adult guidelines.
  • Wild-type GIST (no mutation): For most pediatric patients with wild-type GIST complete surgical resection of localized disease is recommended as long as it can be accomplished without significant morbidity (i.e., gastrectomy). When feasible, wedge resections are an acceptable surgical option. Since lymph node involvement is relatively common in younger patients, searching for overt or occult nodal involvement should be encouraged. Given the indolent course of the disease in pediatric patients, it is reasonable to withhold extensive and mutilative surgeries and to carefully observe children with locally recurrent or unresectable asymptomatic disease.[115,120]

    A randomized clinical trial in adults demonstrated that administration of adjuvant imatinib mesylate improved event-free survival in adult patients with GIST but this benefit was restricted to those with KIT exon 11 and PDGFR mutations, and thus the use of this agent in the adjuvant setting in pediatric wild-type GIST cannot be recommended.[135] Responses to imatinib and sunitinib in pediatric patients with wild-type GIST are uncommon and consist mainly of disease stabilization.[120,136,137] In a review of ten patients who were treated with imatinib mesylate, one patient experienced a partial response and three patients had stable disease.[120] In another study, the clinical activity of sunitinib in six children with imatinib-resistant GIST was reported as one partial response and five stable disease.[138]


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