Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Other Names for this Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Sarcoma
  • GIST
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

I was recently diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor. The tumor was surgically removed. My doctor gave me a 28% chance for recurrence. What information is available regarding recurrence risks for gastrointestinal stromal tumors? Where can I find studies which discuss these risks?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is the risk of recurrence following the surgical removal of gastrointestinal stromal tumors?

For gastrointestinal stromal tumors, factors such as the size of the tumor, its grade, and whether it has shown signs of spreading within the abdomen can be helpful in predicting how fast the cancer will grow and how likely it is to come back after treatment.[1] According to some studies, more than half of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors experience tumor recurrence during the course of their disease.[2] The median time of recurrence after surgery for primary tumors ranges from 18 to 24 months, although some highly differentiated tumors relapse more than ten years after initial diagnosis.[3] According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, follow-up should include contrast CT of the abdomen and pelvis every 3–6 months for 3–5 years and then yearly after that.[3]


Last updated: 4/27/2010

Where can I access additional information about studies related to recurrence risks?

You can find relevant articles describing recurrence risks for gastrointestinal stromal tumors through PubMed, a searchable database of biomedical journal articles. Although not all of the articles are available for free online, most articles listed in PubMed have a summary available. To obtain the full article, contact a medical/university library or your local library for interlibrary loan. You can also order articles online through the publisher’s Web site. Using "gastrointestinal stromal tumors AND recurrence" as your search term should help you locate articles. Use the advanced search feature to narrow your search results. Click here to view a search.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web site has a page for locating libraries in your area that can provide direct access to these journals (print or online). The Web page also describes how you can get these articles through interlibrary loan and Loansome Doc  (an NLM document-ordering service). You can access this page at the following link . You can also contact the NLM toll-free at 888-346-3656 to locate libraries in your area.

Last updated: 4/27/2010