Objective: To estimate the incidence and tumor characteristics of gastrointestinal stromal tumors admitted to Kurdish oncology centers located in north of Iraq. Patients & Methods: A retrospective study of 169 patients diagnosed with GIST who have been managed in four oncology centers in Kurdistan region of Iraq during the past eight years. Patient and tumor characteristics were analyzed by a statistician using IBM SPSS 24 to assess the incidence of GIST.
Results: Among one hundred sixty nine patients, 50.3% (n=85) were male and 49.7% (n=84) were female. The most common primary site was stomach while esophagus was the least frequently affected location. The median age was 56.2 years (20-93 years). Morphologically they were Spindle cell type in 68.6%, epithelioid type in 8.9%, mixed type in 20.7%. 53% of cases were categorized as high risk tumors, 23% as intermediate risk, 19% as low risk and 5% were not categorized. There was a steady rise of the number of GIST cases from 2010 (n=7) to 2017(n=30).
Conclusion: The incidence of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in Kurdistan region is increasing. It is not clear whether this is a true increment or is due to a better identification of GIST cases in regional centers and increase in the population.