Several research studies are conducted to gain more information about the gastrointestinal stromal tumor, related prevention methods, diagnostic process at the initial phase, and best treatment options. Research continues to find new drugs for treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors, particularly new targeted therapies. Post-operative treatment length involves the length of time to continue imatinib treatment post-surgery based on the chances of recurrence. Hence, doctors are currently evaluating the best length for this treatment. Various clinical trials are underway to find better ways to reduce symptoms and side effects of the presently available treatments. In addition to this, they intend to improve comfort and quality of life of the patient.
Advancement in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Research
Doctors are learning about this cancer and the various ways to prevent it. They are also looking into the best way to treat it and how to provide the best care to patients diagnosed with this cancer.
The following research areas may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk to the doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
New drugs – Research continues to find new drugs for the treatment of GIST, particularly new targeted therapies 1. Researches have been taking place for several drugs that target proteins that help tumor cells survive. Moreover, the drugs that affect the tumor’s blood supply are also being studied. Treatments working through the immune system, known as immunotherapy, also engage in GIST research.
Post-operative treatment length – The length of time to continue imatinib treatment post-surgery is based on the chances of recurrence. People with a greater risk of recurrence should be considered for three years after-surgery imatinib if the tumor has a mutation targeted by imatinib 2. Doctors are currently evaluating the best length for this treatment.
Palliative care or supportive care
Clinical trials are also underway to find better ways to reduce symptoms and side effects of the presently available gastrointestinal stromal tumor treatments to improve the comfort and quality of life of the patient.
- 1.Martin-Broto J, Moura DS. New drugs in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Current Opinion in Oncology. Published online May 20, 2020:314-320. doi:10.1097/cco.0000000000000642
- 2.Keung EZ, Raut CP, Rutkowski P. The Landmark Series: Systemic Therapy for Resectable Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. Ann Surg Oncol. Published online July 30, 2020:3659-3671. doi:10.1245/s10434-020-08869-w