August 11th 2020
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract. They commonly present with nonspecific symptoms and thus are often discovered incidentally. They are best identified by CT scan and most stain positive for CD117 (C-Kit), CD34, and/or DOG-1. Several risk stratification classification systems have been developed based on tumor size, mitotic rate, location, and perforation. Traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy have been very ineffective, making surgery the mainstay of treatment. The discovery of mutations associated with these tumors has revolutionized the treatment approach. Imatinib mesylate, a selective tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitor, used as adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy, has greatly improved the morbidity and mortality associated with GISTs. As the survival of patients has increased with the long-term use of targeted therapies, quality-of-life issues now have become much more relevant and have come to the forefront of care. We present a young woman who was successfully treated for GIST but now faces associated long-term adverse effects of imatinib, including the challenge of preserving fertility and the potential for childbearing.