Various molecular triggers define heterogeneous subsets of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), differing in clinical behavior and drug sensitivity. KIT/PDGFRA-wild-type GISTs, including those succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient, are overall unresponsive to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors commonly used, fostering the development of specific alternative therapeutic strategies. Epigenetic inactivation of O 6 -methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) through promoter methylation leads to effectiveness of alkylating agents in several human cancers. SDH-deficient GISTs typically feature widespread DNA methylation. However, the actual occurrence of MGMT methylation in these tumors, potentially predisposing them to respond to alkylating drugs, has not been investigated so far. Here we discuss the recent findings concerning the occurrence of MGMT methylation in different GIST subgroups, including SDH-deficient ones, as a premise for a possible reappraisal of alkylating agents specifically targeting these small, otherwise overall chemorefractory, GIST subgroups.
- DNA methylation
- O 6 -methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase
- alkylating agents
- gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- molecular diagnosis
- wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumor