Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor - GIST: Latest Research

Approved by the Lineagotica Editorial Board, 09/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of tumor and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about how to best treat a GIST and provide the best care to people diagnosed with GIST. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

  • New drugs. Research continues to find new drugs for the treatment of GIST, particularly new targeted therapies. Several different drugs that target proteins that help tumor cells survive are being researched. Drugs that affect the tumor's blood supply are also being studied to treat GIST. Treatments working through the immune system, called immunotherapy, are also of interest in GIST research.

  • Post-operative treatment length. The length of time to continue imatinib treatment after surgery is based on the risk of recurrence. People with a high risk of recurrence should be considered for 3 years of after-surgery imatinib if the tumor has a mutation that is targeted by imatinib. Doctors are currently evaluating the best length of treatment.

  • Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current GIST treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding GISTs, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.