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.
Blanke CD, DeMatteo RP. Duration of Adjuvant Therapy for Patients With Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors: Where Is Goldilocks When We Need Her? JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(6):721–722. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0094
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