M. Tayyab H. Siddiqui1, K. M Inam Pal2, Fatima Shaukat3, Aliza Fatima2, K. M Babar Pal4, Jibran Abbasy5, Noman Shazad6

1Clinic of Surgery, Patel Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
2Clinic of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Cyberknife & Tomotherapy Center, Jpmc, Karachi, Pakistan
4Student at Dow International Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan
5Clinic of Surgery, University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
6Clinic of Surgery, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation, Yorkshire, United Kingdom


Objective: The aim of this retrospective study was to review the overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of GISTs treated surgically at our center over the past decade.

Material and Methods: We undertook a 12-year retrospective review of our experience in treating this condition with a focus on long-term outcomes of treated patients in a resource-constrained environment. Incomplete follow-up information continues to be a major problem with studies conducted in low resource settings, and in order to overcome this, we undertook telephonic contact with patients or their relatives to get the necessary information about their clinical status.

Results: Fifty-seven patients with GIST underwent surgical resection during this period of time. The stomach was the most common organ involved in the disease, with 74% of the patients. Surgical resection was the main treatment approach, with R0 resection possible in 88%. Nine percent of the patients were given Imatinib as neoadjuvant treatment and 61% were offered the same, as adjuvant therapy. The duration of adjuvant treatment changed from one year to three years over the study period. Pathological risk assessment categorized the patients as Stage I, 33%; Stage II, 19%; Stage III, 39%; and Stage IV, 9%. Of the 40 patients who were at least three years from surgery, 35 were traceable giving an 87.5%, overall three-year survival. Thirty-one patients (77.5%) were confirmed to be disease-free at three years.

Conclusion: This is the first report of mid-long-term outcomes of the multimodality treatment of GIST from Pakistan. Upfront surgery continues to be the main modality. OS & DFS in resource-poor environments can be similar to those seen in a better-structured healthcare setting.

Keywords: Survival, gastro intestinal stromal tumor, surgery

Cite this article as: Siddiqui MTH, Pal KMI, Shaukat F, Fatima A, Pal KMB, Abbasy J, et al. Gastro-intestinal stromal tumor (GIST): Experience from a tertiary care center in a low resource country. Turk J Surg 2022; 38 (4): 362-367.


Ethics Committee Approval

This study was approved by The Aga Khan University Ethics Review Committee with effect from 22.08.2020.

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept – TS, IP; Design – TS, JA, AF; Supervision – TS, IP, FS; Data Collection and/ or Processing – TS, JA, AF; Analysis and/or Interpretation – TS, NS, FS; Literature Search – TS, BP, JA; Writing Manuscript – TS, BP, FS, NS, AF; Critical Reviews – TS, IP, FS, AF, NS, IP.

Conflict of Interest

The authors report no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.