The rates of postoperative complications and recurrence were similar between elderly and nonelderly patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) who were treated with endoscopic surgery, according to a new study by Chinese researchers published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice. However, the number of comorbidities in elderly patients is higher. 

Based on these findings, the authors of the study concluded that “endoscopic resection performed by experienced endoscopists is safe and effective for treating small (≤5 cm) gastric GISTs in elderly patients.”

Endoscopic resection has increasingly been used to treat GISTs less than 5 cm in diameter, and the disease is prevalent among elderly patients. However, the surgical outcomes in this group of patients have not been well studied. 

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Here, a team of researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China assessed the safety and efficacy of endoscopic resection to treat small gastric GISTs in patients aged 65 years and above.

The researchers retrospectively analyzed 260 patients with GISTs who had undergone endoscopic resection, 65 of whom were at least 65 years of age and the rest were below 65 years of age. They compared the clinicopathological characteristics, postoperative complications, and tumor recurrence rates of the 2 groups of patients.

The results showed that patients aged 65 years and over had a higher incidence of comorbidities than the others. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of postoperative complications or tumor recurrence rates.

GISTs are rare compared to other types of gastrointestinal tumors and make up less than 1% of all gastrointestinal tumors. However, they are the most common (80%) nonepithelial or mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. They represent 5% of all sarcomas. Around 5000 new cases of GISTs are diagnosed each year in the United States.


Cai C, Yang J, Ren M, et al. Efficacy and safety of endoscopic resection for small gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors in elderly patients. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2022;2022:8415913. doi:10.1155/2022/8415913