The Importance of Gleevec Following Surgery for Gastrointestinal Stromal Cell Tumors (GIST)

June 11th, 2014 @   -  No Comments

Surgical resection is the only treatment with the potential to cure GISTs. Unfortunately many patients develop recurrent tumors following complete tumor removal. Imatinib mesylate or Gleevec helps prevent recurrence of GIST following surgical resection.  Few studies have evaluated national practices and the results of Gleevec on survival of GIST patients.

We used Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data, a national database, to identify patients who underwent resection of GIST. Patients who received Gleevec after surgery were compared to those treated with surgery alone. Of 1,043 GIST patients, 244 received Gleevec treatment after surgery. Gleevec treatment was associated with a significant improvement in survival. The longer the Gleevec treatment, the longer patients lived. We presented the results of our study at the Society of Surgical Oncology 67th Annual Cancer Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona in March of 2014.

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