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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Defining Tumor Rupture in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

Toshirou Nishida MD, PhD, FACS, Toto Hølmebakk MD, Chandrajit P. Raut MD, Msc, Piotr Rutkowski MD, PhD
Online First ™ - March , 2019


Tumor rupture is an important risk factor predictive of recurrence after macroscopically complete resection of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), and an indication for defined interval or even lifelong adjuvant therapy with imatinib according to guidelines. However, there is no consensus or universally accepted definition of the term ‘tumor rupture’, and, consequently, its incidence varies greatly across reported series. Without predefined criteria, the clinical significance of rupture has also been difficult to assess on multivariate analysis of retrospective data. We reviewed the relevant literature and international guidelines, and, based on the Oslo criteria, proposed the following six definitions for ‘tumor rupture’: (1) tumor fracture or spillage; (2) blood-stained ascites; (3) gastrointestinal perforation at the tumor site; (4) microscopic infiltration of an adjacent organ; (5) intralesional dissection or piecemeal resection; or (6) incisional biopsy. Not all minor defects of tumor integrity should not be classified as rupture, i.e. mucosal defects or spillage contained within the gastrointestinal lumen, microscopic tumor penetration of the peritoneum or iatrogenic damage only to the peritoneal lining, uncomplicated transperitoneal needle biopsy, and R1 resection. This broad definition identifies GIST patients at particularly high risk of recurrence in population-based cohorts; however, its applicability in other sarcomas has not been investigated. As the proposed definition of tumor rupture in GIST has limited evidence based on the small number of patients with rupture in each retrospective study, we recommend validating the proposed definition of tumor rupture in GIST in prospective studies and considering it in clinical practice.

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