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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 267-271

Neoadjuvant imatinib in locally advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors

1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramakrishnan A Seshadri
Department of Surgical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Annexe Campus, No.18, Sardar Patel Road, Guindy, Chennai - 600 036
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.59905

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Aim : To study the role of neoadjuvant imatinib mesylate in downsizing tumors in patients with locally advanced nonmetastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), thus improving the possibility of complete resection. Materials and Methods : We used neoadjuvant imatinib in six patients with locally advanced GISTs, at a dose of 400 mg daily, given orally in all patients for a median period of 3.5 months (range 1-20 months). All patients had a computerized tomography scan (CT scan) once before starting the treatment and a repeat CT scan 1 month after starting imatinib. Some patients had another CT scan done at 3 months. The tumor volume was calculated using the formula V=4/3 ðr 3 . Results : Following imatinib therapy, the median reduction in the tumor volume was 40% (range 20-50%). Four of the six patients underwent successful complete resection of the tumor following neoadjuvant imatinib for a median period of 2 months, and are disease free after a median follow-up of 10.5 months (range 3-20 months). Two patients in whom the tumors were deemed to be operable after downsizing refused surgery and are continuing imatinib. Imatinib did not produce serious toxicity in any patient. Conclusion : Neoadjuvant imatinib can be used successfully in patients with locally advanced nonmetastatic GISTs to improve the rates of complete resection and reduce the chance of tumor spill. The optimal duration of neoadjuvant treatment needs to be tailored based on response assessment at frequent intervals to identify the ideal window period for surgery.

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