ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: KIT activity is crucial for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Imatinib (IMA) and sunitinib (SUN) are very effective KIT-inhibitors in patients with advanced GIST but have no curative potential. We evaluated the efficacy of the novel HSP90 inhibitor IPI-493 alone, or in combination with IMA or SUN in GIST xenografts with KIT mutations.Experimental Design: Nude mice (n = 98) were grafted bilaterally with human GIST carrying KIT exon 11 (GIST-PSW), KIT exon 9 (GIST-BOE), or double, KIT imatinib-sensitive exon 11 and imatinib-resistant exon 17 mutations (GIST-48). Mice were divided into six treatment groups and dosed orally for 15 days as follows: (i) control group, sterile water; (ii) IMA alone; (iii) SUN alone; (iv) IPI-493 alone; (v) IPI-493+IMA; and (vi) IPI-493+SUN.Results: Treatment with IPI-493 resulted in tumor growth stabilization, variable proliferation arrest, induction of apoptosis and necrosis, and downregulation of KIT and its signaling cascade, especially in the GIST-BOE model. Significant reduction of vessel density was observed with IPI-493 treatment, and was equal to SUN treatment in GIST-PSW and GIST-BOE xenografts. IPI-493 treatment effects were enhanced in combination with TKIs, especially with IPI-493+SUN. In our hands, IPI-493 showed dose-dependent liver damages.Conclusions: When administered as a single agent in a xenograft model, the HSP90 inhibitor IPI-493 has consistent antitumor activity and induces KIT downregulation in GISTs with heterogeneous KIT mutations. IPI-493 synergizes with TKIs that are commonly used for the treatment of advanced or IMA-resistant GIST. The antitumor response of IPI-493 is particularly enhanced in combination with SUN. Clin Cancer Res; 17(17); 5604–14. ©2011 AACR.