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What are gastrointestinal stromal tumours?

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are rare tumours in the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. These are tumours of the connective tissue. They may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).

What are its main signs and symptoms?

  • A tumour mainly manifests as bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. A person can also develop anaemia because of the bleeding.
  • A tumour most commonly begins in the stomach or small intestine.
  • It causes severe weight loss along with abdominal pain and cramps.
  • There is also difficulty in swallowing along with nausea and frequent vomiting.
  • The tumour grows in size, making the person feel like the abdomen is getting heavier. If it spreads, organs like the liver can be affected.

What are the main causes?

  • GISTs fall into the category of sarcomas, which means they are a tumour of the connective tissue.
  • GIS tumours can be hereditary, and in such cases, they often occur in association with other severe conditions.
  • Genetic mutation can also cause GISTs. There is a lot of ongoing research regarding the genetic causes of the GIS tumour.
  • Frequently, the cause of this tumour may remain unknown, like many other tumours.
  • GISTs are more common in older individuals, and the risk of developing this tumour increases with age.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

To begin with, the doctor will record your medical history and your current signs and symptoms. The steps in the diagnosis include:

  • Examination of the mouth, digestive tract and abdomen in general, is extremely vital. If a GIST is suspected, further tests will be needed.
  • An endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract along with an ultrasound of the abdomen is done to know the exact location, position and size of the tumour.
  • To arrive at a final diagnosis, a part of the tumour tissue is removed for biopsy. 
  • Tumour treatment involves surgical removal of the growth through an incision in the abdomen, or through laparoscopy.
  • However, very large tumours may be difficult to remove surgically.
  • Drugs are also given as part of chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and prevent it from spreading.
  • Radiation might be opted for, to treat large tumours that cannot be surgically removed.
  1. Medicines for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Medicines for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Medicines listed below are available for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
GlivecGlivec 400 Mg Tablet0
ResihanceResihance 40 Mg Tablet33755
SutentSutent 12.5 Mg Capsule12856
CelonibCelonib 100 Mg Capsule662
ChemotinibChemotinib 100 Mg Capsule223
IbatkinIbatkin 100 Mg Capsule723
ImatImat 100 Mg Tablet364
LeukanibLeukanib 100 Mg Tablet880
AltanibAltanib 400 Mg Tablet2488
CadinibCadinib 400 Mg Tablet2940
ImalekImalek 100 Mg Tablet772
ImanibImanib 100 Mg Capsule536
Imatib AImatib A 100 Mg Capsule460
ImatibImatib 100 Mg Capsule330
ImatinibImatinib 100 Mg Tablet732
Levin (Dr Reddy)Levin 100 Mg Tablet754
LupinibLupinib 100 Mg Tablet376
MitinabMitinab 100 Mg Tablet720
ShantinibShantinib 100 Mg Capsule700
TiminibTiminib 400 Mg Capsule3500

Do you or anyone in your family have this disease? Please do a survey and help others


  1. Miettinen M, Lasota J. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors.. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2013 Jun;42(2):399-415. PMID: 23639648
  2. Coindre JM et al. [Gastrointestinal stromal tumors: definition, histological, immunohistochemical, and molecular features, and diagnostic strategy].. Ann Pathol. 2005 Oct;25(5):358-85; quiz 357. PMID: 16498290
  3. Amitabh Thacoor. Gastrointestinal stromal tumours: advances in surgical and pharmacological management options. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2018 Jun; 9(3): 573–578. PMID: 29998023
  4. National Institutes of Health; [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) Registry
  5. Ashwin Rammohan et al. A gist of gastrointestinal stromal tumors: A review. World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2013 Jun 15; 5(6): 102–112. PMID: 23847717
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