Interstitial cells of Cajal in health and disease. Part II: ICC and gastrointestinal stromal tumours
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Mesenchymal tumours in the gastrointestinal tract have long been problematic in terms of diagnosis, prognosis and therapy, but recent advances in immunohistochemistry and related therapies have allowed more specific diagnosis. In particular, the recognition that both the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) and many gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are positive for c-kit and CD34 and have other features similar to those of ICC has led to the use of imatinib, a novel small molecule therapy that blocks the CD117/c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor, which shows remarkable efficacy in treatment of malignant and metastatic GISTs as well as other malignancies.
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