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What is the treatment for a gastrointestinal-stromal tumor if surgery can't be done?

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When surgery cannot be done to remove a gastrointestinal-stromal tumor, or when the cancer has spread to other organs, the medication imatinib (Gleevec) may be prescribed. Gleevec targets the specific cells responsible. Imatinib will either shrink the tumor or stop its growth in the majority of cases. If your cancer has spread, the drug will not cure the cancer, but it may improve the quality and length of life.

From: GIST: Frequently Asked Questions WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

GSI. GIST Support International.

Demetri, G. . Published online July 6, 2007. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Demetri, G. . (Update to above). Published 2010. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

American Cancer Society.

American Society of Clinical Oncology.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Gleevec Prescribing Information.  

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

SOURCES:

GSI. GIST Support International.

Demetri, G. . Published online July 6, 2007. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Demetri, G. . (Update to above). Published 2010. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

American Cancer Society.

American Society of Clinical Oncology.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Gleevec Prescribing Information.  

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Can Imatinib (Gleevec) be taken after surgery for a gastrointestinal-stromal tumor?

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