Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor - GIST: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done to learn more about gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about how to best treat GISTs and provide the best care to people diagnosed with a GIST. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

  • New drugs. Research continues to find new drugs for the treatment of GIST, particularly new targeted therapies. Several different drugs that target proteins that help tumor cells survive are being researched. Drugs that affect the tumor's blood supply are also being studied. Treatments working through the immune system, called immunotherapy, are also of interest in GIST research.

  • Post-operative treatment length. The length of time to continue imatinib treatment after surgery is based on the risk of recurrence. People with a high risk of recurrence should be considered for at least 3 years of after-surgery imatinib if the tumor has a mutation that is targeted by imatinib. Doctors are currently evaluating the best length of treatment.

  • Palliative and supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current GIST treatments to improve comfort and quality of life for patients.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like more information about the latest areas of research in GIST, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

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