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    Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Metastatic or Recurrent Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors


    The first two indications (1 and 2) identify subsets of patients with advanced disease that are selected for relative disease stability. Therefore, the favorable outcomes that have been noted in case series may be principally the result of selection bias rather than true benefit from surgery. Because the median time to the development of secondary resistance to imatinib has been found to be about 2 years,[15] it has been suggested that surgery for metastatic or recurrent disease in patients on imatinib/sunitinib be performed before 2 years. Most experts would recommend considering surgery after 6 to 12 months of disease stability with TKI therapy.[3] Drug therapy may be continued after surgery. Patients with generalized disease progression are managed medically and may be enrolled in clinical trials.

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


    1. Debiec-Rychter M, Sciot R, Le Cesne A, et al.: KIT mutations and dose selection for imatinib in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Eur J Cancer 42 (8): 1093-103, 2006.
    2. Demetri GD: Gastrointestinal stromal tumor. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 1060-73.
    3. Demetri GD, Benjamin RS, Blanke CD, et al.: NCCN Task Force report: management of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)--update of the NCCN clinical practice guidelines. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 5 (Suppl 2): S1-29; quiz S30, 2007.
    4. Blanke CD, von Mehren M, Joensuu H, et al.: Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of an oral molecularly-targeted therapy, STI157, in patients (pts) with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) expressing c-kit (CD117). [Abstract] Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 20: A-1, 1a, 2001.
    5. van Oosterom AT, Judson I, Verweij J, et al.: Safety and efficacy of imatinib (STI571) in metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours: a phase I study. Lancet 358 (9291): 1421-3, 2001.
    6. Choi H, Charnsangavej C, Faria SC, et al.: Correlation of computed tomography and positron emission tomography in patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor treated at a single institution with imatinib mesylate: proposal of new computed tomography response criteria. J Clin Oncol 25 (13): 1753-9, 2007.
    7. Blay JY, Le Cesne A, Ray-Coquard I, et al.: Prospective multicentric randomized phase III study of imatinib in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors comparing interruption versus continuation of treatment beyond 1 year: the French Sarcoma Group. J Clin Oncol 25 (9): 1107-13, 2007.
    8. Blanke CD, Rankin C, Demetri GD, et al.: Phase III randomized, intergroup trial assessing imatinib mesylate at two dose levels in patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors expressing the kit receptor tyrosine kinase: S0033. J Clin Oncol 26 (4): 626-32, 2008.
    9. Rutkowski P, Nowecki Z, Nyckowski P, et al.: Surgical treatment of patients with initially inoperable and/or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) during therapy with imatinib mesylate. J Surg Oncol 93 (4): 304-11, 2006.
    10. Demetri GD, van Oosterom AT, Garrett CR, et al.: Efficacy and safety of sunitinib in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour after failure of imatinib: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 368 (9544): 1329-38, 2006.
    11. Prior JO, Montemurro M, Orcurto MV, et al.: Early prediction of response to sunitinib after imatinib failure by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor. J Clin Oncol 27 (3): 439-45, 2009.
    12. Demetri GD, von Mehren M, Blanke CD, et al.: Efficacy and safety of imatinib mesylate in advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors. N Engl J Med 347 (7): 472-80, 2002.
    13. Dagher R, Cohen M, Williams G, et al.: Approval summary: imatinib mesylate in the treatment of metastatic and/or unresectable malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Clin Cancer Res 8 (10): 3034-8, 2002.
    14. Raut CP, Posner M, Desai J, et al.: Surgical management of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors after treatment with targeted systemic therapy using kinase inhibitors. J Clin Oncol 24 (15): 2325-31, 2006.
    15. Verweij J, Casali PG, Zalcberg J, et al.: Progression-free survival in gastrointestinal stromal tumours with high-dose imatinib: randomised trial. Lancet 364 (9440): 1127-34, 2004.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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