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New Advances in GIST Treatments

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) often bring up many questions, yet there's an increasing wave of hope. Our service is devoted to connecting all GIST patients, irrespective of their disease stage, with the most recent clinical trials. We offer support to everyone, from early-stage to advanced GIST patients.

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      Find Your Treatment Now

      A Patient Relations Coordinator will reach out to you soon.

      Your personal data is fully confidential and 100% secure

      You can receive a guidebook with information about lymphoma by filling out the form.

      Latest Breakthroughs in GIST Therapy

      Additionally, we have a special focus on assisting those with co-occurring KIT exons 11+17/18 mutations, a specific genetic characteristic found in some GISTs. Our aim is to help patients access a wide range of innovative medical studies, ensuring that every GIST patient has the opportunity to explore the latest treatment options.

      Our matching system connects you with the latest clinical trials, offering new opportunities for individuals battling gastrointestinal stromal tumors. You will gain access to comprehensive information on clinical trials tailored for GIST, irrespective of the disease stage. These trials feature novel treatments not commonly available, targeting the specific biomarkers related to your GIST diagnosis. This presents a unique chance for you to actively engage in managing your health, with our dedicated guidance and support.


      How our system works

      We check your medical records and use our AI system to find clinical trials you can join. We also offer a concierge service to help you smoothly transition into the clinical trial.

      Our team of specialized nurses and physicians will ensure that they take care of every detail of your participation in the trial before, during, and after your enrollment.

      All the services provided are completely free for you and your treating oncologist.


      Understanding the disease


      What are Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors?

      GIST is a type of cancer that occurs in the digestive system, most commonly in the stomach or small intestine. It arises from specialized cells in the gastrointestinal tract known as the interstitial cells of Cajal, which are part of the autonomic nervous system and play a role in food digestion.


      Forms of GIST:


      Location-based Classification:

      • Stomach GISTs: The most common location, accounting for about 60% of cases.
      • Small Intestine GISTs: The second most common site, representing about 30-35% of cases.


      Mutation-based Classification:

      • KIT gene mutation GISTs: Majority of GISTs (about 70-80%) have a mutation in the KIT gene.
      • PDGFRA gene mutation GISTs: Approximately 10% of GISTs have mutations in the PDGFRA gene.
      • Wild-type GISTs: These lack mutations in KIT or PDGFRA genes and are less common.


      Symptoms of GIST:

      Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the tumor’s size and location. In many cases, GISTs may not cause any symptoms until they become large. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

      1. Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Often the most common symptom.

      2. A Palpable Mass: Feeling a lump in the abdomen.

      3. Gastrointestinal Bleeding: This can lead to black or tarry stools, vomiting blood, or anemia (low red blood cell count), causing fatigue and weakness.

      4. Nausea and Vomiting: Particularly if the tumor is causing a blockage in the stomach or intestines.

      5. Early Satiety: Feeling full after eating only a small amount of food.


      What are the treatment options for GISTs?

      Treatment options for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors vary based on factors like the size and location of the tumor, whether it has spread, and the specific genetic mutations it carries. Here are the primary treatment options:


      • Primary Treatment: For localized GISTs, surgery is often the first line of treatment. The goal is to remove the tumor completely.
      • Advanced GISTs: In cases where the tumor has spread, surgery may be used to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

      Targeted Therapy:

      • Imatinib (Gleevec): Often used for patients with metastatic or unresectable GISTs. It’s effective against tumors with KIT or PDGFRA gene mutations.
      • Sunitinib (Sutent): Used for patients who don’t respond to imatinib or if the cancer has returned.
      • Regorafenib (Stivarga): An option for patients who have not responded to imatinib and sunitinib.

      Radiation Therapy:

      • Less commonly used for GISTs but may be considered in certain situations, such as to relieve symptoms or if surgery and targeted therapies are not options.


      • Traditional chemotherapy is generally not effective against GISTs, but in some cases, it might be tried.

      Clinical Trials:

      • Patients are encouraged to consider clinical trials, which can provide access to new treatments not yet widely available.


      How do I identify the genetic mutation
      of the disease?

      Genetic mutations in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are identified using several diagnostic tests and techniques, primarily focused on detecting alterations in the KIT and PDGFRA genes. These tests are crucial for guiding treatment decisions, particularly the use of targeted therapies. The main methods to identify these mutations include:

      Immunohistochemistry (IHC):

      • This is a common laboratory test used to detect the presence of the KIT protein (also known as CD117) on the surface of cells in a tissue sample.
      • While IHC doesn’t directly detect genetic mutations, the presence of KIT protein is a strong indicator of a GIST, as approximately 95% of GISTs are KIT-positive.

      Molecular Genetic Testing:

      • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): This technique amplifies segments of DNA from the tumor’s tissue sample, allowing for the detection of specific mutations in the KIT and PDGFRA genes.
      • DNA Sequencing: DNA sequencing, particularly next-generation sequencing (NGS), is used to precisely identify the specific type and location of mutations in the KIT and PDGFRA genes, as well as other less common mutations.

      Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH):

      • FISH may be used to look for deletions or other changes in the KIT gene in cases where IHC results are ambiguous


      The Role of GIST Clinical Trials

      Clinical trials are vital in the treatment of this disease for several reasons:

      6. Access to Innovative Treatments: Clinical trials provide patients the opportunity to try novel treatments that may be more effective, particularly important when standard treatments have limited effectiveness.

      7. Enhancing Patient Outcomes: Participation in clinical trials contributes to the collective understanding, potentially improving survival rates and life quality for future GIST patients.

      8. Comprehensive and Focused Care: Patients in clinical trials receive attentive care and are closely monitored by specialized healthcare professionals and researchers, ensuring thorough treatment management.

      9. Offering Hope: For GIST patients, especially those exploring all treatment options, clinical trials offer a sense of hope — for their own prognosis and the prospect of aiding future patients through their participation.

      10. Advancing GIST Research: These trials are crucial in advancing scientific knowledge about GIST, shedding light on the efficacy of new treatments and identifying those most likely to benefit from them. This research is instrumental in developing more tailored and effective treatment strategies.

      Why Massive Bio?
      Our AI matching tool makes cancer treatment simple.

      We combine the power of technology with our dedicated team of medical providers to find you the best treatment options available.

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      A GIST Clinical Trial May Be an Option for You

      Massive Bio offers a quick, easy, and FREE way to find clinical trials for patients like you. With our unique clinical trial matching system and compassionate team, Massive Bio can rapidly match you to GIST clinical trials of new therapies for gastrointestinal stromal tumors. If you aren’t sure what form of gastrointestinal stromal tumors you have, that’s okay. Additional testing can help determine your exact diagnosis.


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      • Why should I trust Massive Bio?

        Why should I trust Massive Bio?

        Massive Bio has provided health to more than 120,000 cancer patients in 25 countries across three continents. It collaborates with over 80 global partners. In 2022, Massive Bio became part of the Precision Cancer Consortium (PCC), alongside major companies such as AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly & Company, GSK, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Novartis and Roche.

      • What is the process?

        What is the process?

        To find the best clinical research studies for you, we need your medical history and consent. You can provide this consent by filling out the form on this page and the following pages. Once you’ve done that, our patient relations coordinator will contact you to discuss the details and provide further information for clinical research matching report.

      • Why do I have to provide my medical records to enroll in a clinical trial?

        Why do I have to provide my medical records to enroll in a clinical trial?

        To enroll in clinical trial, you must meet highly specific criteria that’s established by the researchers who are conducting the investigation. That includes detailed information about type of cancer, treatment history, response to treatment, and other data that is collected in medical records.

      • What should I do if I don’t have my medical records?

        What should I do if I don’t have my medical records?

        If you are being treated for cancer or any other disease, your doctor should have a complete record of your medical care, including specific information about what form of the disease you have and what treatments you have received. Your patient relations coordinator will contact you and inform you about the details.

      • What are the costs associated with Massive Bio’s services?

        What are the costs associated with Massive Bio’s services?

        Massive Bio provides its services to the patients and their doctors at no cost—you won’t have to pay anything to receive a clinical-research matching report. There are no hidden costs involved.

      • How does Massive Bio protect my personal information?

        How does Massive Bio protect my personal information?

        Massive Bio strictly adheres to all HIPAA guidelines and international regulations focused on maintaining your privacy. We take extra measures to secure your personal information, ensuring it is protected beyond the mandatory requirements.

      • Where can I find clinical research studies in my area?

        Where can I find clinical research studies in my area?

        Your doctor may know of a clinical research study being conducted in your area that’s recruiting participants and is right for you. However, Massive Bio uses its artificial intelligence-powered platform to match patients to clinical research studies of treatments that give you the best chance of a positive outcome and are being conducted in a geographical location that makes sense for you.

      • Can I continue seeing my doctor or oncologist while also taking services of Massive Bio?

        Can I continue seeing my doctor or oncologist while also taking services of Massive Bio?

        Yes, Massive Bio keeps your doctor up to date on your status throughout your participation.