This study was designed to determine the level of survivin expression and its clinical significance as a prognostic factor in gastrointestinal stromal sarcoma (GIST). Twenty patients (12 males and 8 females) ranging in age from 25 to 72, with a median age of 53 were evaluated. Failure of TKI treatment was higher in the survivin-positive group (p=0.06). The rate of metastasis was significantly higher in the survivin positive group vs. the negative group (80% vs. 30%, p=0.18). The median overall survival (OS) time was 114 (range 29–199)months, and the median disease-free survival (DFS) time was 88 (range 40–135) months. The median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 40 (range 24–55) months. Further, a comparison of patients with survivin positive versus negative tumors, revealed no significant difference for OS, DFS, and PFS (p=0.45, p=0.19, p=0.55, respectively), number of mitoses in 50 HPF (p=0.14), and tumor size (p=0.94).
In conclusion, survivin was highly expressed in GISTs, although we found no correlation between survivin expression and PFS, DFS and OS, survivin may be a predictive marker in GISTs for disease progression. We believe that additional studies are warranted to determine the clinical significance of survivin expression as a prognostic or predictive marker in patients with GIST.