Refractory Gastrointestinal stromal tumor

Refractory Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a type of cancerous tumor that commonly begins in the digestive system. GIST commonly affects the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, although it can occur in other areas as well. GIST can also occur in the abdominal cavity and not always directly on the digestive tract. When GIST becomes resistant to the standard treatment, it is considered refractory. In refractory GIST, the tumor does not respond to the standard of care and is not curable. Treatment in such cases is intended to slow the growth or spread of the tumor.

The first line of treatment for GIST is usually tyrosine kinase inhibitor medication, such as imatinib (Gleevec). If the tumor is resistant to the medication and does not shrink or continues to grow, then it is diagnosed as refractory GIST. Options for treating refractory GIST include:

  • Clinical trials
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

The choice of treatment will depend on factors such as the patient’s age, overall health, GIST type, and other medical conditions. Additionally, patients should talk to their doctor about all available treatment options to make an informed decision.

The prognosis for patients with refractory GIST is difficult to predict. Generally, tumors that are positive for KIT mutations or PDGFRA mutations have a poorer prognosis than those that are negative for these mutations.