Researchers reported that Ki67, which is typically overexpressed in tumor cells, may be a useful marker for the risk of recurrent gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) transformation, and published their findings in Oncology Letters.

GIST is a rare gastrointestinal cancer, only accounting for less than 3% of the total. Although GIST risk and prognosis have been well reported in the medical literature, there is less information on the clinical behavior and prognosis of GIST in high-risk populations.

Ki67 is of particular interest to cancer researchers because studies have indicated that Ki67 levels can be used to predict the prognosis of patients with GISTs. However, due to the small sample sizes studied, there is still some controversy regarding the use of GIST to predict risk. Further studies are needed to further understand the relationship between Ki67 and GIST prognosis.

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The authors of the study hence conducted a literature search using the terms ‘GIST’ and ‘Ki67’ using various academic databases. Patients were enrolled if they have been assessed for Ki67 expression by immunochemistry and if their prognostic risk of GIST was stratified using the National Institute of Health (NIH) risk system. A total of 20 studies were included in the meta-analysis.

The results demonstrated that Ki67 levels were significantly higher in the NIH low group when compared with the NIH very low group. The researchers also found that there was greater Ki67 overexpression in the NIH intermediate group compared with the NIH low group. Ki67 levels were also greater in the NIH high group compared to the NIH intermediate group.

“The results revealed that the higher the risk, the higher the overexpression rate of Ki67, suggesting that Ki67 expression may be a useful addition to the NIH assessment system for GIST risk prediction,” the authors concluded.


Li J, Wang AR, Chen XD, Pan H, Li SQ. Ki67 for evaluating the prognosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysisOncol Lett. 2022;23(6):189. doi:10.3892/ol.2022.13309