Key resources for learning about GIST:
Newly Diagnosed:Patients who have just had a newly diagnosed GIST completely removed must often decide on adjuvant therapy. A nomogram tool developed by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center can be used to find the risk of recurrence without any further therapy. Patients using this tool should consult with their oncologist. The recommended time period for adjuvant imatinib therapy is a minimum of 36 months.
MSKCC Gastrointestional Stromal Tumor Nomogram
About GIST:Several reviews and observational studies have provided a data rich picture of GIST epidemiology, biology and management Some of the more recent are here below in citation form:
Call et al.: Survival of gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients in the imatinib era: life raft group observational registry. BMC Cancer 2012 12:90. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-90
Corless CL, Barnett CM, Heinrich MC. Gastrointestinal stromal tumours: origin and molecular oncology. Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Nov 17. doi: 10.1038/nrc3143. [Epub ahead of print].
Management:The National Cancer Center Network (NCCN) guidelines are the consensus standard for US oncologists managing GIST. Treatment plans should start here. Go to the nccn.org site and register for a free user account on the sign-up page. Then log-in and go to the section on GIST at the link below:
NCCN Soft Tissue Sarcoma Guidelines
The Journal of the NCCN also publishes a supplement on GIST management. It is a little old (two years) but has a much more detailed discussion of GIST management. Find it here below:
NCCN Task Force Report: Update on the Management of Patients with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors - 2010
Advanced:The largest repository of GIST related science and research abstracts is in the US National Library of Medicine / National Institute of Health data base called PubMed. The link below will search the database for all abstracts containing the term "Gastrointestinal Stromal". There are over 5,000. The most recently added to PubMed will be at the top.
PubMed search results for the phrase "Gastrointestinal Stromal"
Click on the titles to see the complete abstract and to access those with free full-text.
For a tutorial on interpreting clinical trial results and cancer statistics in general read Steve Dunn's CancerGuide. Inside Steve's website is a special page I will use Steve's own words to describe:
"As far as I'm concerned, Gould's The Median Isn't the Message is the wisest, most humane thing ever written about cancer and statistics. It is the antidote both to those who say that, "the statistics don't matter," and to those who have the unfortunate habit of pronouncing death sentences on patients who face a difficult prognosis. Anyone who researches the medical literature will confront the statistics for their disease. Anyone who reads this will be armed with reason and with hope."
Here it is:
The Median Isn't the Message