What is Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
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An Intestinal Stromal Growth (ESSENCE) is a rare kind of cancer. The growths develop from support tissue of the gastrointestinal system. An ESSENCE is most common in the stomach wall (60-70%) and in the small intestine (20-30%). A GIST can also happen in the esophagus, colon or rectum. In unusual cases a GIST takes place at other locations in the abdominal cavity. An ESSENCE in the stomach is not stand cancer and an ESSENCE in the gut is not a bowel cancer. Metastases (metastases) frequently happen in the abdominal cavity, in the peritoneum and in the liver.

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An Intestinal Stromal Tumor (ESSENCE) is an unusual form of cancer. The tumors occur from assistance tissue of the intestinal system. An ESSENCE is most common in the stomach wall (60-70%) and in the small intestinal tract (20-30%). A GIST can also take place in the esophagus, colon or anus. In unusual cases a GIST occurs at other places in the stomach cavity. A GIST in the stomach is not swallow cancer and a GIST in the gut is not a bowel cancer. Metastases (metastases) often happen in the stomach cavity, in the peritoneum and in the liver.


Gastro Intestinal Stroma Tumors fall under the group of growths or sarcomas of the soft tissue. These are also called ‘soft tissue sarcomas’. By soft tissue is suggested the tissue that is located around the organs and bones. This is for example connective tissue, nerve tissue, muscle tissue and adipose tissue.

Sarcomas are unusual tumors that take place in the soft tissues and in the bones and occur from assistance tissue. Sarcomas are very various growths than the ‘typical’ kinds of cancer; the so-called carcinomas. The treatment is therefore extremely different. Carcinomas are types of cancer that emerge from tissue of the organs. About 80-90% of all cancers are cancers. Bowel cancer, stomach cancer and liver cancer are examples of carcinomas.

Incidence ESSENCE

Every year in the Netherlands there have to do with 250 to 300 brand-new clients with an ESSENCE. However, it is not exactly understood how many patients there are with a GIST. An ESSENCE is most typical in adults between the ages of 50 and 70, however a GIST likewise occurs in kids and in aging. A GIST is simply as common in males as in females.

Reason For Gastro Digestive Stroma Tumor (GIST).

The reason for the event of an ESSENCE is not yet specifically understood. It is understood that in cells of a GIST a modification (anomaly) can be seen in the DNA. DNA is the genetic material that exists in all cells of our body. The change in GIST cells remains in the C-KIT gene. We call this change an anomaly. The C-KIT gene is among the genes that regulates the growth of new cells. A change in this gene offers an increased chance of a GIST.

Heredity most likely plays little or no role. Only a few families are known where a GIST is more typical. Anomalies in the C-KIT gene for that reason take place at a later age. An ESSENCE is a so-called gotten condition that is not handed down to children.

Complaints and signs in Gastro Intestinal tract Stroma Tumor (GIST).

The grievances depend upon the area of the tumor. A GIST is regularly found by accident due to the fact that there are typically no clear symptoms.

Grievances that can take place at ESSENCE are:.

Stomach pains.
A complete sensation.

Digestive occlusion (ileus).

In the intestinal tract a digestive tract occlusion can be triggered by a GIST. This is called an ileus. An ileus causes abrupt, violent symptoms such as serious stomach pain and a great deal of throwing up. An ileus normally needs to be run quickly to avoid the closed part of the intestinal tract from dying off.


Growths that bleed can trigger anemia. If you suffer from anemia, you are particularly troubled by tiredness and pale vision. Often blood loss is simple to identify for example if you see blood in your stool or vomit. In most cases, the blood loss goes very slowly. Percentages of blood combine with the feces and that is challenging to see. If you struggle with a black, tar-like stool, it indicates blood loss from your stomach or little intestine.

Diagnosis of Gastro Digestive Tract Stroma Tumor (GIST).

Tumors can be detected by means of various imaging tests:.
Ultrasound of the abdomen;.
CT scan (Computer Tomography) of the abdomen;.
MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the abdominal area.
A CT scan is made virtually with every client with a GIST, also to discover possible metastases.

In order to be able to make the medical diagnosis of ESSENCE with certainty, a bite of tissue (biopsy) of the growth is required. This bite of tissue is taken a look at in the lab for the qualities of an ESSENCE. It is crucial for the treatment that the medical diagnosis is made with certainty. A GIST is dealt with differently than other types of cancer.

Sometimes it is possible to take a biopsy from a growth through a visual inspection. Generally the medical professional takes a biopsy by methods of a leak (biopsy). Through your abdominal wall the doctor opts for a hollow needle into the tumor to draw up some tissue. This is usually done using ECHO or CT research. The doctor can likewise take a biopsy of the growth throughout a colonoscopy (a visual assessment of the big intestine) or during a gastroscopy (a visual assessment of the stomach).

Incidentally, taking a biopsy at a GIST is not without threat. There is a risk that tumor cells spread through the research. If you are already particular that you are being operated on, taking a biopsy is not suggested. A piece of tissue from the growth can therefore be taken a look at right away after the operation.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST).


If it is possible, the favoritism is an operation. The entire growth is removed throughout the operation. An operation is not possible with some growths. This depends, to name a few things, on the place of the growth and the existence of any metastases. In many cases the growth comes back after an operation. This can occur within a couple of months, but also after many years. There is therefore a distinction in malignancy between Gastro Digestive tract Stroma Growths mutually.


In addition to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the most frequently utilized treatments for cancer. With a GIST, nevertheless, these two treatments are ineffective. For some years there has actually been a treatment with a medication that is effective at an ESSENCE. This is the drug Imatinib. Treatment with Imatinib is now the standard treatment for metastatic forms of an ESSENCE when surgical treatment is not possible. Imatinib is a contemporary kind of chemotherapy and is offered in the form of tablets. Chemotherapyis a treatment with anti-cancer drugs. Imatinib works very specifically against ESSENCE cells. Healthy cells are not damaged by this medication. It is therefore also called targeted treatment. The negative effects of targeted treatment are generally milder than with ‘routine’ chemotherapy.

Radio Frequent Ablation (RFA).

In many cases, tumors can be treated with Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA). This is a heat treatment where the tumor is warmed to 80 degrees. The tissue can not bear this heat and passes away.

Imatinib/ Sunitinib.

Imatinib can not treat an ESSENCE but it keeps the disease under control for some time. Numerous ESSENCE patients benefit rapidly and for a long period of time from this medication. Tumors often lessen or remain stable. Nevertheless, an operation remains the preferred treatment, if possible. In some cases Imatinib is prescribed to clients with a big tumor that is tough to get rid of. Due to the fact that of the treatment the growth can become smaller and the operation has more possibility of success.

In spite of the effective treatment with Imatinib, research is being done on other treatments. There is an increasing issue of resistance that arises after a long-lasting treatment. Resistance is insensitivity to treatment with that medication. If resistance happens, ESSENCE growths will grow once again and grievances might arise again. Typically this wants 20-24 months however this duration can differ greatly per person.

When Imatinib quits working effectively, the medication Sunitinib can be recommended. Sunitinib is, like Imatinib, a medicine in tablet type. Sunitinib prevents tumor growth as well as the formation of new members vessels in the growth. A tumor gets oxygen and nutrients through the blood. If the blood supply is hindered, the growth can not end up being bigger. With Suninitib the growth can be kept under control for a longer period of time. In time, resistance to Sunitinib often develops.

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