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Treatments for GIST

Patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST cancer) can receive effective treatments today.  For links to experts' treatment recommendations for GIST, see the NCCN and other expert consensus GIST standard-of-care guidelines listed on our page GIST Treatment Guidelines.

Current Treatments

  • Surgery - Surgery is the first step in treatment for GIST, and it is often curative.
  • Imatinib (Gleevec) - Imatinib (Gleevec) is FDA-approved for treatment of unresectable and metastatic GIST, as well as for prevention of recurrence of higher-risk GISTs (adjuvant therapy).
  • Sunitinib (Sutent) - Sunitinib (Sutent) is FDA-approved for treatment of GIST resistant to imatinib/Gleevec and for patients who are intolerant of imatinib/Gleevec.
  • Regorafenib (Stivarga) - Regorafenib (Stivarga) is approved for treatment of GIST resistant to imatinib and sunitinib. 
  • Hepatic artery embolization - Embolization is a surgical procedure for treatment of liver metastases of GIST.
  • Radiofrequency ablation - RFA is a surgical procedure for treatment of liver metastases of GIST.
  • Off-Label Use of FDA-Approved Drugs - Drugs approved for other diseases that may be prescribed for GIST at a physician's discretion.
  • GIST Patients' Right to Treatment - the Bad Nauheim Declaration, endorsed by GIST Support International, for the right of all GIST cancer patients to receive up-to-date treatment.

Emerging Treatments


Clinical Trials

  • Clinical Trials informs you about current trials for gastrointestinal stromal tumor plus things to consider before signing up for a trial.  This page includes a table showing all clinical trials for GIST, plus maps of locations of trials for GIST cancer.


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