In 1998, the modern era of recognizing gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) as a unique entity began, with a report linking KIT protein expression and gene mutations to the putative cell of origin for GIST.1 Immunohistochemical detection of the KIT protein provided a tool to distinguish GIST from other types of cancer (particularly leiomyosarcoma). With accurate diagnosis, it became clear that while some cases of metastatic leiomyosarcoma responded to chemotherapy, the response rate of GIST was essentially 0%.2 Therefore, KIT expression could be used to identify patients with GIST who would not benefit from conventional chemotherapy.
Heinrich MC, Corless CL, Demetri GD. Defining the Impact of Adjuvant Therapy in Molecularly Defined Subsets of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor : From Lumping to Splitting. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(5):597–599. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5740
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