Open Journal Systems

Epidemiology and tumor characteristics of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in KRG territories

Fahmi M. Salih ()
Kakil Ibrahim Rasul ()


This paper aims to estimate the incidence and tumor characteristics of gastrointestinal stromal tumors admitted to Kurdish oncology centers located in north of Iraq. A retrospective study of 169 patients diagnosed with GIST who have been managed in four oncology centers in Kurdistan region of Iraq during the past eight years. Patient and tumor characteristics were analyzed by a statistician using IBM SPSS 24 to assess the incidence of GIST. Among one hundred sixty nine patients, 50.3% (n=85) were male and 49.7% (n=84) were female. The most common primary site was stomach while esophagus was the least frequently affected location. The median age was 56.2 years (20-93 years). Morphologically they were Spindle cell type in 68.6%, epithelioid type in 8.9%, mixed type in 20.7%. 53% of cases were categorized as high risk tumors, 23% as intermediate risk, 19% as low risk and 5% were not categorized. There was a steady rise of the number of GIST cases from 2010 (n=7) to 2017 (n=30). In conclusion, the incidence of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in Kurdistan region is increasing. It is not clear whether this is a true increment or is due to a better identification of GIST cases in regional centers and increase in the population.


gastrointestinal stromal tumor; GIST; risk category; epidemiology

Full Text:



Hirota S, Isozaki K, Moriyama Y, Hashimoto K, Nishida T, et al. Gain-of-function mutations of c-kit in human gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Science 1998; 279(5350): 577–580.

Rasul KI, Jassoum SB, Hamad MY. Epidemiology and clinicopathological pattern of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in Qatar. J Chinese Clin Med 2008; 3: 117–180.

Miettinen M, Lasota J. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors: Pathology and prognosis at different sites. In Seminars in diagnostic pathology 2006 May 1, WB Saunders. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2006.09.001.

Demetri GD, Von Mehren M, Antonescu CR, DeMatteo RP, Ganjoo KN, et al. NCCN Task Force report: update on the management of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2010; 8: S1–S44.

Heinrich MC, Corless CL, Duensing A, McGreevey L, Chen CJ, et al. PDGFRA activating mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Science 2003; 299(5607): 708–710. doi: 10.1126/science.1079666.

Lasota J, Miettinen M. Clinical significance of oncogenic KIT and PDGFRA mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Histopathology 2008; 53(3): 245–266. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2008.02977.x.

Lasota J, Corless CL, Heinrich MC, Debiec-Rychter M, Sciot R, et al. Clinicopathologic profile of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) with primary KIT exon 13 or exon 17 mutations: a multicenter study on 54 cases. Mod Pathol 2008; 21(4): 476. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2008.2.

Nilsson B, Bümming P, Meis-Kindblom JM, Odén A, Dortok A, et al. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors: The incidence, prevalence, clinical course, and prognostication in the preimatinib mesylate era. Cancer 2005; 103(4): 821–829. doi: 10.1002/cncr.20862.

Demetri GD, Von Mehren M, Antonescu CR, DeMatteo RP, Ganjoo KN, et al. NCCN Task Force report: Update on the management of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2010; 8: S1–41.

Søreide K, Sandvik OM, Søreide JA, Giljaca V, Jureckova A, et al. Global epidemiology of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST): A systematic review of population-based cohort studies. Cancer Epidemiol 2016; 40: 39–46. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2015.10.031.

Steigen SE, Eide TJ. Trends in incidence and survival of mesenchymal neoplasm of the digestive tract within a defined population of northern Norway. APMIS 2006; 114(3): 192–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2006.apm_261.x.

Chan KH, Chan CW, Chow WH, Kwan WK, Kong CK, et al. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors in a cohort of Chinese patients in Hong Kong. World J Gastroenterol 2006; 12(14): 2223–2228. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i14.2223.

Lv M, Wu C, Zheng Y, Zhao N. Incidence and survival analysis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in shanghai: A population-based study from 2001 to 2010. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2014; 2014 (3): 834136. doi: 10.1155/2014/834136.

Al-Thani H, El-Menyar A, Rasul KI, Al-Sulaiti M, El-Mabrok J, et al. Clinical presentation, management and outcomes of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Int J Surg 2014; 12(10): 1127–1133. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2014.08.351.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Fahmi M. Salih, Kakil Ibrahim Rasul

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.