Retrospective Analysis of Chilean and Mexican GI Stromal Tumor Registries: A Tale of Two Latin American Realities

Purpose: Like other malignancies, GI stromal tumors (GIST) are highly heterogeneous. This not only applies to histologic features and malignant potential, but also to geographic incidence rates. Several studies have reported GIST incidence and prevalence in Europe and North America. In contrast, GIST incidence rates in South America are largely unknown, and only a few studies have reported GIST prevalence in Latin America.

Patients and methods: Our study was part of a collaborative effort between Chile and Mexico, called Salud con Datos. We sought to determine GIST prevalence and patients’ clinical characteristics, including survival rates, through retrospective analysis.

Results: Overall, 624 patients were included in our study. Our results found significant differences between Mexican and Chilean registries, such as stage at diagnosis, primary tumor location, CD117-positive immunohistochemistry status, mitotic index, and tumor size. Overall survival (OS) times for Chilean and Mexican patients with GIST were 134 and 156 months, respectively. No statistically significant differences in OS were detected by sex, age, stage at diagnosis, or recurrence status in both cohorts. As expected, patients categorized as being at high risk of recurrence displayed a trend toward poorer progression-free survival in both registries.

Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest report from Latin America assessing the prevalence, clinical characteristics, postsurgery risk of recurrence, and outcomes of patients with GIST. Our data confirm surgery as the standard treatment of localized disease and confirm a poorer prognosis in patients with regional or distant disease. Finally, observed differences between registries could be a result of registration bias.

Global health, global surgery and mass casualties: II. Mass casualty centre resources, equipment and implementation

Trauma/stroke centres optimise acute 24/7/365 surgical/critical care in high-income countries (HICs). Concepts from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) offer additional cost-effective healthcare strategies for limited-resource settings when combined with the trauma/stroke centre concept. Mass casualty centres (MCCs) integrate resources for both routine and emergency care—from prevention to acute care to rehabilitation. Integration of the various healthcare systems—governmental, non-governmental and military—is key to avoid both duplication and gaps. With input from LMIC and HIC personnel of various backgrounds—trauma and subspecialty surgery, nursing, information technology and telemedicine, and healthcare administration—creative solutions to the challenges of expanding care (both daily and disaster) are developed. MCCs are evolving initially in Chile and Pakistan. Technologies for cost-effective healthcare in LMICs include smartphone apps (enhance prehospital care) to electronic data collection and analysis (quality improvement) to telemedicine and drones/robots (support of remote regions and resource optimisation during both daily care and disasters) to resilient, mobile medical/surgical facilities (eg, battery-operated CT scanners). The co-ordination of personnel (within LMICs, and between LMICs and HICs) and the integration of cost-effective advanced technology are features of MCCs. Providing quality, cost-effective care 24/7/365 to the 5 billion who lack it presently makes MCCs an appealing means to achieve the healthcare-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.