Ki-67 labeling index can be used as a prognostic marker in gastrointestinal stromal tumor: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic relevance of the Ki-67 labeling index (LI) in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) through a systematic review, meta-analysis and diagnostic test accuracy review.


The study included 1,967 GIST cases from 24 eligible studies. We investigated the correlation between high Ki-67 LI and survival and the proper criteria for high Ki-67 LI. In addition, a diagnostic test accuracy review was conducted to evaluate the predictive role of high Ki-67 LI for higher risk of tumor recurrence.


A high Ki-67 LI was significantly correlated with worse disease-free survival (DFS) (hazard ratio [HR] 3.658, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.687-4.979, p<0.001) and overall survival (OS) (HR 3.730, 95% CI 2.819-4.936, p<0.001). With regard to DFS and OS, the subgroup with a cutoff value of >4% for high Ki-67 LI had a higher HR than the subgroup with a ≤4% cutoff. In the diagnostic test accuracy review, a high Ki-67 LI was significantly correlated with higher risk of tumor recurrence (pooled sensitivity = 0.44, pooled specificity = 0.87, area under the curve on the summary receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.656).


Our results showed that a high Ki-67 LI was significantly correlated with worse prognosis and higher risk of tumor recurrence in GIST. Further prospective studies of the prognostic role of Ki-67 LI are necessary prior to application in clinical practice.

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