Current management of succinate dehydrogenase deficient gastrointestinal stromal tumors
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are increasingly recognized as having diverse biology. With the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors molecularly matched to oncogenic KIT and PDGFRA mutations, GIST have become a quintessential model for precision oncology. However, about 5-10% of GIST lack these driver mutations and are deficient in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), an enzyme that converts succinate to fumarate. SDH deficiency leads to accumulation of succinate, an oncometabolite that promotes tumorigenesis. SDH- deficient GIST are clinically unique in that they generally affect younger patients and are associated with GIST- paraganglioma hereditary syndrome, also known as Carney-Stratakis Syndrome. SDH-deficient GIST are generally resistant to tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, the standard treatment for advanced or metastatic GIST. Thus, surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for localized disease, but recurrence is common. Clinical trials are currently underway investigating systemic agents for treatment of advanced SDH-deficient GIST. However, further studies are warranted to improve our understanding of SDH-deficient GIST disease biology, natural history, surgical approaches, and novel therapeutics.