Monday, 21 May 2012

Adjuvant GIST - Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumours

GIST is classically operated upon and thought to be cured by surgery. Unfortunately more and more clinicians are finding that patients have recurrence of disease. Nowadays, there are way to find possible recurrence risk rates, and treat accordingly.

If a patient has a high to moderate risk of recurrence, then they must be offered Imatinib (Glivec or Gleevec). The duration of treatment continues to be a matter of discussion - most people agree for one (1)year of treatment, but there is now data to show that three (3) years of treatment is necessary.

I suspect that treatment would be needed for long term (much longer than three years), as the survival curves at one year and three year of treatment are quite similar, when treatment is stopped.

The important thing is to ask your surgeon to consider Imatinib therapy or refer you to a Medical Oncologist for discussion.


  1. Its great to know about GIST (Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumours).

    1. Hi William, Glad this was helpful.
      Cheerio, LJ

  2. I was diagnosed with G.I.S.T in 2005 and due to complications from removing the tumor a year later had my stomach removed, and without help or guidance I had to learn through trial and error how to eat healthy and deal with a rare cancer. I have been on Gleevec since 2006 at 600 mg after a secondary site was find on my liver. I am stable at the time but have learn to deal with the day that the medication will stop working and will have to seek another drug to keep me alive. I am now living a healthy life to the fullest and in better shape than I was before cancer.

  3. GIST is a phenomenal case of translational research. All the best.