Published online Apr 28, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i16.2113
Revised: January 3, 2011
Accepted: January 10, 2011
Published online: April 28, 2011
AIM: To report preliminary results of the efficacy and safety of sunitinib in the management of Taiwanese gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) patients facing imatinib mesylate (IM) intolerance or failure.
METHODS: Between 2001 and May 2010, 199 Taiwanese patients with metastatic GIST were treated at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Among them, 23 (11.6%) patients receiving sunitinib were investigated.
RESULTS: Sixteen male and 7 female patients with a median age of 59 years (range: 24-83 years) received sunitinib. Twenty-two GIST patients changed to sunitinib because of IM failure and 1 because of intolerance. The median duration of sunitinib administration was 6.0 mo (range: 2-29 mo). The clinical benefit was 65.2% [2 complete response (CR), 4 partial response (PR), and 9 stationary disease (SD); 15/23]. In 12 patients harboring mutations of the kit gene at exon 11, the clinical benefit rate (CR, PR, and SD) was 75.0% and 6 patients with tumors containing kit exon 9 mutations had a clinical benefit of 50.0% (not significant, P = 0.344). The progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) did not differ between patients whose GISTs had wild type, KIT exon 9, or KIT exon 11 mutations. Hand-foot syndrome was the most common cause of grade III adverse effect (26.1%), followed by anemia (17.4%), and neutropenia (13.0%). During the median 7.5-mo follow-up after sunitinib use, the median PFS and OS of these 23 GIST patients after sunitinib treatment were 8.4 and 14.1 mo, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Sunitinib appears to be an effective treatment for Taiwanese with IM-resistant/intolerant GISTs and induced a sustained clinical benefit in more than 50% of Taiwanese advanced GIST patients.