Surgical resection is key to management; the development of imatinib has increased therapeutic options for patients with advanced disease.

Management of T1 disease

Very small GISTs (often diagnosed incidentally) have an uncertain natural history. Some of these lesions will grow to become malignant disease but some may simply remain as small lesions and follow a benign course. There is no consensus on treatment or on frequency of observation in patients with T1 disease. Treatment will depend on individual patient wishes after discussion of benefits and disadvantages of treatment.

Management of Localised Disease (Stages T2-T4)

Surgical excision is the main component of therapy.