Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are a rare type of tumour found in the digestive tract, most commonly in the stomach or small intestine. For effective treatment, early diagnosis is crucial. The best surgical oncologist in Kolkata provides insight into understanding the diagnosis and treatment options for GISTs.

Recognizing GISTs

GISTs are unique because they originate from special cells in the gastrointestinal tract known as interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Recognizing and diagnosing these tumours early can significantly improve treatment outcomes. As the best surgical oncologist in Kolkata, Dr. Sanjoy Mandal emphasizes the importance of early detection.

Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours

Diagnosing GISTs involves a combination of medical history, imaging tests and biopsies. Here are the key steps in the diagnostic process:

Medical History and Physical Examination

Initial diagnosis often begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Symptoms like abdominal pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, or a noticeable mass may prompt further investigation.

Imaging Tests

Imaging techniques such as CT scans, MRI and PET scans are essential in identifying the location and size of the tumour. These imaging tests help in determining the extent of the disease and planning for treatment.

Endoscopic Procedures

Endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) are valuable tools for visualizing the tumour and obtaining tissue samples. During these procedures, a flexible tube with a camera is inserted through the mouth or rectum to view the digestive tract and take biopsies.

Biopsy and Pathology

A biopsy is critical for confirming the diagnosis of GIST. Tissue samples are examined under a microscope to identify the presence of specific markers, such as the KIT protein, which is often found in GIST cells.

Treatment Options for GISTs

Treatment for GISTs depends on the tumour’s size, location and stage. Here are the primary treatment options:


Surgery is the main treatment for localized GISTs. The goal is to remove the tumour completely. Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, known as the best surgeon for gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) in Saltlake, Kolkata, performs precise surgical procedures to ensure the best outcomes for his patients.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies, such as imatinib (Gleevec), are effective in treating GISTs, especially when surgery is not an option or if the tumour has spread. These medications specifically target the abnormal proteins in GIST cells, inhibiting their growth and spread.

Radiation Therapy

While not commonly used for GISTs, radiation therapy may be an option in certain cases to shrink tumours or relieve symptoms.

Regular Monitoring

For smaller, less aggressive tumours, regular monitoring with imaging tests may be recommended to track the tumour’s growth and intervene if necessary. Understanding the diagnosis and treatment options for GISTs is vital for effective management of this rare condition. Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, the best surgical oncologist in Kolkata, offers comprehensive care and advanced treatment options.