Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) have an unpredictable biological potential ranging from benign to malignant. Molecular markers involved in the mechanisms of proliferation and cellular senescence may provide additional information about biological behavior of the tumor. The aim of the present study was to investigate Ki-67, TPX2, TOP2A and hTERT mRNA expression levels in specimens from patients with GISTs to define relationships between proliferation activity and biological potential and progression of the disease. We measured Ki-67, TPX2, TOP2A and hTERT mRNA levels using quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (RQ RT PCR). The highest Ki-67, TPX2, TOP2A and hTERT mRNA expression levels were found in the highly proliferative BLs (18 specimens), in comparison with GISTs (137 specimens) and LMSs (9 specimens). Patients with GISTs and adequate information about mitotic activity, tumor size and anatomical site (84 specimens) were divided into two groups - GISTs with benign (29 patients) and with malignant (55 patients) potential. We observed association between higher Ki-67, TPX2 and hTERT mRNA levels and the GISTs with malignant potential. Univariate analysis (57 patients with available follow-up information) of survival (Kaplan Meier curves method) revealed a correlation between higher levels of TPX2, Ki-67 and hTERT markers and shorter event-free survival (EFS) or poorer overall survival (OS). The results demonstrate the importance of quantitative assessment of the proliferation activity in GISTs. Proliferation markers of Ki-67, TPX2, TOP2A and hTERT are suitable markers for detection the proliferation activity and telomerase activity of these tumors. Furthermore, the assessment of TPX2, Ki-67 and hTERT expression levels is appropriate for determination of malignant potential of GISTs.