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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Response to imatinib rechallenge in a patient with a recurrent gastrointestinal stromal tumor after adjuvant therapy: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Yoon-Koo Kang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-504) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

YKK is a consultant for Novartis, and has received research funding and honoraria from Novartis for lectures.



Adjuvant imatinib improves recurrence-free survival of patients following resection of primary KIT-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors. However, it is unknown whether patients who previously received adjuvant imatinib therapy will respond to imatinib rechallenge as treatment for recurrent disease. Here we present the first report documenting the benefits of imatinib rechallenge in a patient previously exposed to imatinib during adjuvant treatment.

Case presentation

A 51-year-old Asian woman with a wedge-resected primary gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumor at high risk of relapse underwent two years of adjuvant treatment with imatinib. Only 10 months after the completion of adjuvant imatinib treatment, a computed tomography scan revealed gastrointestinal stromal tumor recurrence in this patient, with multiple peritoneal nodules in the upper abdomen being detected. Our patient was rechallenged with imatinib 400 mg/day and had a partial response after one month of treatment. Imatinib rechallenge was well tolerated by our patient; the only adverse events she experienced were grade 1 edema, anemia and fatigue. Our patient maintained a partial response two years and six months after the imatinib rechallenge. However, computed tomography scans three months later showed that our patient had disease progression.


This case report demonstrates that a patient with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor who had previously received adjuvant imatinib therapy responded to imatinib rechallenge as treatment for her recurrent disease. These results indicate that imatinib sensitivity can be maintained in a patient with previous exposure to adjuvant imatinib therapy.

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