Patients suffering from gastrointestinal tumors are at increased risk of contracting other cancers, revealed a study. The results indicated that one in 5.8 patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) will develop additional malignancies before and after their diagnosis. Specifically, patients with GIST are more likely to develop other sarcomas, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, carcinoid tumors, melanoma, colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary, prostate and renal cell cancers.
Jason Sicklick, assistant professor of surgery at the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine, said, "The research indicates that these patients may develop cancers outside these syndromes but the exact mechanisms are not yet known. Only 5% of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors have a hereditary disorder that predisposes them to develop multiple benign and malignant tumors. Further studies are needed to understand the connection between GIST and other cancers."
When compared to the United States population, the researchers found that people with GIST had a 44% increased prevalence of cancers occurring before a GIST diagnosis and a 66% higher risk of developing cancers after diagnosis. The most common tumors were those of the genitourinary tract, breast, respiratory and blood.
The study is published in Cancer.