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INTRODUCTION: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors are the most frequent (0,5-3%) mesenchymal tumors in the gastrointestinal
tract. They probably originate from the interstitial cells of Cajal and are characterized by an anomaly of c-kit
receptor, for a stem growth factor, with tyrosine-kinase activity (c-kit). This mutation causes a permanent activation of
the receptor and uncontrolled cell growth. These tumors are associated with low survival in cases of advanced or metastatic
disease. Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, induces improved survival in these patients.
CASE REPORTS: The authors discuss two cases of gastrointestinal stromal tumors surgically treated and also review the
pathophysiology, diagnosis difficulties, role of surgery today, and treatment-related outcome of this type of tumors.