Molecular characterization of an Italian series of sporadic GISTs

P. Origone, S. Gargiulo, L. Mastracci, A. Ballestrero, L. Battistuzzi, C. Casella, D. Comandini, R. Cusano, A. P. Dei Tos, R. Fiocca, A. Garuti, P. Ghiorzo, C. Martinuzzi, L. Toffolatti, G. Bianchi Scarrà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Most (80 %) contain activating mutations in the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase, roughly 10 % in platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFRA). In a small subset, BRAF mutations are an alternative molecular pathway. GISTs respond well to imatinib, but low response is seen in patients with wild-type KIT or PDGFRA. Resistance has also been reported as a result of mutations in downstream effectors such as BRAF. Methods: We provide here a molecular characterization of a series of primary GISTs from Italian patients. Of 121 GIST cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2012, 83 were evaluated by PCR amplification and direct sequencing for mutations in KIT exons 8, 9, 11, 13, and 17, PDGFRA exons 12, 14, and 18, and BRAF exon 15. Eighty-one GISTs also underwent K-RAS testing. Results: Sixty-four GISTs were positive: 55 had mutations in KIT and 9 in PDGFRA; 16 patients were mutation negative. Three samples came from NF1 patients and were KIT- and PDGFRA negative. Overall, we identified six novel mutations in KIT (p.K550-M552delinsL, p.Q556-W557delinsG p.Q556-G575del, p.W557-V559delinsQ p.P573-R588dup, p.G592-K593dup) and one novel mutation in PDGFRA (p.D842-N848delinsVDV), thus contributing to widening the spectrum of known mutations in GIST tumors and confirming the most frequently altered regions underlying GIST development. Conclusions: Among the 64 KIT- and PDGFRA-positive sporadic patients in our series, no BRAF or KRAS mutations were identified, suggesting that co-occurrence of these mutations is likely to be rare in the northwestern Italian population and not a frequent cause of primary resistance to imatinib in KIT-positive GIST patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalGastric Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • BRAF
  • GIST
  • KIT
  • KRAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Cancer Research


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