Needle biopsy through the abdominal wall for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumour - Does it increase the risk for tumour cell seeding and recurrence?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: Preoperative percutaneous transabdominal wall biopsy may be considered to diagnose gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) and plan preoperative treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors when an endoscopic biopsy is not possible. Hypothetically, a transabdominal wall biopsy might lead to cell seeding and conversion of a local GIST to a disseminated one. We investigated the influence of preoperative needle biopsy on survival outcomes.

METHODS: We collected the clinical data from hospital case records of the 397 patients who participated in the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group (SSG) XVIII/Arbeitsgemeinschaft Internistische Onkologie (AIO) randomised trial and who had a transabdominal fine needle and/or core needle biopsy carried out prior to study entry. The SSG XVIII/AIO trial compared 1 and 3 years of adjuvant imatinib in a patient population with a high risk of GIST recurrence after macroscopically radical surgery. The primary end-point was recurrence-free survival (RFS), and the secondary end-points included overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: A total of 47 (12.0%) out of the 393 patients with data available underwent a percutaneous biopsy. No significant difference in RFS or OS was found between the patients who underwent or did not undergo a percutaneous biopsy either in the entire series or in subpopulation analyses, except for a statistically significant RFS advantage for patients who had a percutaneous biopsy and a tumour ≥10 cm in diameter.

CONCLUSION: A preoperative diagnostic percutaneous biopsy of a suspected GIST may not increase the risk for GIST recurrence in a patient population who receive adjuvant imatinib after the biopsy.


  • Mikael Eriksson
  • Peter Reichardt
  • Kirsten Sundby Hall
  • Jochen Schütte
  • Silke Cameron
  • Peter Hohenberger
  • Sebastian Bauer
  • Mika Leinonen
  • Annette Reichardt
  • Maria Rejmyr Davis
  • Thor Alvegård
  • Heikki Joensuu
External organisations
  • HELIOS Klinikum Berlin-Buch
  • Oslo university hospital
  • Schwerpunktpraxis für Hämatologie, Onkologie & ambulante Tumortherapie – Krebs- und Blutheilkunde
  • University of Göttingen
  • University Medical Centre Mannheim
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • 4Pharma Ltd
  • University of Helsinki
  • Regional Cancer Center South, Lund
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch