Adjuvant Gleevec for GIST – pro

Preliminary results from a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial for patients with primary gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), a type of tumor usually found in the stomach or small intestine, showed that patients who received imatinib mesylate (Gleevec ®) after complete removal of their tumor were significantly less likely to have a recurrence of their cancer compared to those who did not receive imatinib. In this study, Gleevec was given for one year. It is now more than a year after resection of all disease.  Most recent ASCO GI 2008 update suggested that recurrences are greater about a year and a half after Gleevec is stopped but this cannot be used to allow GLeevec indefinitely without additional studies. Paolo Casali, M.D., of the National Tumor Institute in Milan, Italy, cautioned that, although the trial had extensive follow-up, it was still a small trial. He said European researchers don’t believe the findings are sufficient to recommend adjuvant imatinib

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