Non-coding rnas, a novel paradigm for the management of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Azadeh Amirnasr, Stefan Sleijfer, Erik A.C. Wiemer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal malignancies found in the gastrointestinal tract. At a molecular level, most GISTs are characterized by gain-of-function mutations in V-Kit Hardy–Zuckerman 4 Feline Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (KIT) and Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha (PDGFRA), leading to constitutive activated signaling through these receptor tyrosine kinases, which drive GIST pathogenesis. In addition to surgery, treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib forms the mainstay of GIST treatment, particularly in the advanced setting. Nevertheless, the majority of GISTs develop imatinib resistance. Biomarkers that indicate metastasis, drug resistance and disease progression early on could be of great clinical value. Likewise, novel treatment strategies that overcome resistance mechanisms are equally needed. Non-coding RNAs, particularly microRNAs, can be employed as diagnostic, prognostic or predictive biomarkers and have therapeutic potential. Here we review which non-coding RNAs are deregulated in GISTs, whether they can be linked to specific clinicopathological features and discuss how they can be used to improve the clinical management of GISTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6975
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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