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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Contribution of Interstitial Cells of Cajal to Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Risk

Qi Wang, Zhen-peng Huang, Yu Zhu, Fei Fu, Lin Tian

Department of Pathology, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e929575

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.929575

Available online: 2021-01-26

Published: 2021-03-24


BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), which originate from interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), are one of most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. This study explored the impact of ICCs and immunological markers on GIST risk.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 122 patients diagnosed with GISTs who underwent surgery were recruited for the study. Demographic and clinical information, including modified NIH criteria, sex, age, tumor site, and tumor size, of all patients were collected. GIST risk was assessed using the modified NIH risk classification for primary GISTs. Paraffin-embedded GIST specimens were evaluated by hematoxylin-eosin staining and ICCs immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: According to the modified NIH criteria, most GIST cases (44 cases, 36.07%) were at very low risk. Females had greater incidence of high-risk GISTs (P<0.05). The mean age at GIST diagnosis was 58.69±9.90 years and had no impact on GIST risk (P>0.05). Most GISTs were located in the stomach (87 cases, 71.73%), and the size of the tumors varied (0.5-20 cm). CD117/c-kit and CD34 were specific immuno-markers for ICCs and GIST. Most patients with GIST were CD117-positive (115 cases, 94.26%), 111 cases (90.98%) were CD34-positive, and 109 cases (89.34%) were positive for both CD117/c-kit and CD34. With increasing GIST risk, CD117 (also named c-k0it) and CD34 expression levels increased, as well as the number of ICCs (all P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: ICCs have a great impact on GISTs incidence. CD117/c-kit and CD34 expression, as well ICCs levels, appear to affect GIST risk.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, Interstitial Cells of Cajal, Risk Assessment