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What causes gastrointestinal-stromal tumors?

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A gastrointestinal-stromal tumor is caused by a genetic mutation, an error in the normal order of genes. In most cases, the mutation is to a gene that directs the cells to make a protein (called KIT or CD117) that causes the cells to grow and divide. In this case, the gene mutation causes the cells of Cajal to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner, leading to a tumor.

Risk factors for GIST include certain inherited gene mutations.

From: GIST: Frequently Asked Questions WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

GSI. GIST Support International.

Demetri, G. . Published online July 6, 2007. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Demetri, G. . (Update to above). Published 2010. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

American Cancer Society.

American Society of Clinical Oncology.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Gleevec Prescribing Information.  

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

SOURCES:

GSI. GIST Support International.

Demetri, G. . Published online July 6, 2007. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Demetri, G. . (Update to above). Published 2010. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

American Cancer Society.

American Society of Clinical Oncology.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Gleevec Prescribing Information.  

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

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