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June 2016

Duration of Adjuvant Therapy for Patients With Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors: Where Is Goldilocks When We Need Her?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
  • 2Division of General Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(6):721-722. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0094

The development of an effective therapy for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) is one of the most interesting and exciting stories in modern oncology. A single molecularly targeted drug, imatinib mesylate, has been the standard therapy for 15 years, changing a completely chemoresistant disease with a life expectancy measured in months (for those with advanced disease) to an illness with a mean overall survival of greater than 5 years. A significant fraction of patients who receive imatinib (approximately 25%) live with their cancer for what many experts conclude will likely be their normal, expected life spans.

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