Surgery: Primary KIT+ GIST Treatment
What is the role of surgery in treating KIT+ GIST?
Surgery is the standard treatment for most patients diagnosed with GIST. If you are having surgery for GIST, it is recommended that you meet with an oncologist to begin developing the optimal treatment plan for your situation. Learn more about who should be in your treatment team using the Treatment Team Tool
Surgery is not a cure for KIT+ GIST
Currently, there is no cure for GIST. Surgery, though often successful, is not a cure for GIST. Complete removal of the tumor is possible in about 85% of patients.
Reducing the risk of recurrence of KIT+ GIST after surgery
While surgery is recommended, there is therapy after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence. Adjuvant therapy is a treatment used in addition to the main treatment for an illness. More specifically, it's therapy given after surgery. Studies have shown that taking GLEEVEC after surgery may help reduce the risk of recurrence of KIT+ GIST.
Results from the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group (SSG XVIII/AIO or SSG) trial showed that extending adjuvant treatment with GLEEVEC for KIT+ GIST helped prevent the disease from returning and improved patient survival compared with patients who received adjuvant treatment for a shorter period of time. View study details. Some patients who continued adjuvant treatment for 36 months decreased the risk of KIT+ GIST recurrence by more than half (54%) compared with patients treated for only 12 months (median follow-up at 42 months). Click here for more information and talk to your doctor about what length of treatment is right for you.
Severe liver problems (hepatotoxicity) may occur. Cases of fatal liver failure and severe liver injury requiring liver transplants have been reported with both short-term and long-term use of GLEEVEC. Your doctor will check your liver function before beginning treatment and continue to monitor liver function as needed. If you experience severe liver problems, your doctor may stop your treatment with GLEEVEC until the liver problem has been managed.
When KIT+ GIST is inoperable, is there an alternative treatment?
If the tumor cannot be removed, GLEEVEC therapy may be considered.
Unresectable/metastatic KIT+ GIST
When KIT+ GIST is unresectable/metastatic, it means that the tumor has spread to another location. Read more