FAQ - gastrointestinal stromal tumors
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About how much time for a person with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) to live?

A long time. Gleevec can cure a lot of people with GIST, too. there is another new drug on the market called Sutent. GIST is by no means a death sentence!!!  (+ info)

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor) has spread to the liver.

A family member has been diagnosed with a GIST in the stomach and a CT scan has shown it has spread to the liver. He is having surgery to remove the tumor in the stomach and chemo will be used afterwards.

If the GIST has already spread is there still a chance it can be cured from surgery?

GIST often metastasizes to the liver and gleevec (Imatinib) is used to control the disease. There are also other possible treatment options for GIST that has metastasized to the liver which includes radiofrequency ablation (RFA), hepatic artery embolization, and surgical removal (depending on the extent of tumor or mets).

Usually treatment is not limited to just surgery if the disease has spread. There will be a multi-modality approach . . and even though mets to the liver is serious . . I do know a young man who had nine of his liver mets destroyed using RFA and he has been no evidence of disease for over two years.

There are many online support groups for this type of cancer. These are great resources to ask questions and find out all the latest treatments being offered. Many of these people can direct you to the medical staff who regularly treat this disease and make recommendations about which facility serves this population the best.

Because this is a rare tumor, it is critical that the family member be seen by an oncologist that specializes in GIST . . either a sarcoma specialist or at least be guided from a sarcoma center.

GIST Support International

LifeRaft Group


GIST Research

Global GIST Network

You can also try the email ListServ groups at Association of Cancer Online Resources: www.acor.org/

Good luck.  (+ info)

A RARE GIST(gastrointestinal stromal tumor) CASE HELP??

My husband was just diagnosed with a gist he has had recurrance, and more tumors have developed, i need help and information if there is anyone out there who can help, we have sent his case everywere and everyone says to try gleevec he has been on it for 15 days now, not to many results, but the problem is he keeps vomiting he vomited before he took gleevec because of the tumor putting pressure on his stomach so he is throwing up for 3 weeks now is on ivs, he has not gone to the bathroom, only urinating, and he vomits 1 to 2 hours after taking gleveec, i have not found anything helpful so far is there any help i can get regarding his vomiting the doctors here say that he should give gleveec a month to see if the tumor shrinks becuz docs say it is inoperable right now, and at the same time he feels pains from the tumor like its growing so what can we do? if there is anyone who knows how i can have his case read to doctors in america or support please thank you

Is he taking Zofran or any other meds to control the vomiting? If not ask your husband's oncologist for an RX or some samples ASAP. Zofran comes in an injectable form that works almost immediately. He needs to do whatever he can to keep the Gleevec down so that it can start working. Apparently Gleevec starts working quite quickly and effectively against GIST since changes can be seen on PET scans very soon after the drug is started. Do whatever you need to do to keep those pills down and then give the medicince time to work. I think Gleevec could be just as effective for GIST as it was for CMLeukemia - which means it could turn having a terminal cancer into having a manageable illness.

good luck to you both

Oncologist. 2008;13 Suppl 2:4-7.
Response evaluation of gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Choi H.
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas 77030, USA. [email protected]

Clinical management of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) has dramatically changed with the introduction of novel therapeutics, such as imatinib mesylate. This has created a need to re-evaluate the existing criteria used to assess treatment response. The current Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors are based on unidimensional tumor size, and do not take into account changes in responding GISTs such as a decrease in tumor density and decrease in the number of intratumoral vessels with computed tomography (CT). Positron emission tomography (PET) has been found to be highly sensitive in detecting early response, and to be useful in predicting long-term response to imatinib in patients with metastatic GIST; however, widespread use of PET is limited because of a lack of scanner availability and cost constraints. Modified CT criteria using a combination of tumor density and tumor size are promising in early response evaluation, and have excellent prognostic value. Identifying appropriate treatment response criteria is essential to optimize treatment for patients with GIST.
PMID: 18434631  (+ info)

Help?? Vomiting, Gastrointestinal stromal tumor, gleevec???

hello, is there anyone who could please help me, my husband just recently got diagnosed with a (Gist) doctors thought it was liposarcoma but with newer tests turned out to be a gist, my husband has had two surgerys to remove it, and the last one was hard to remove because it is in a dangerous area of the stomach, the tumor is 8x8x8 and it is blocking the intestine, everytime he wants to eat he keeps vomiting food stays for a while but keeps coming out acids from his stomach and when he drinks water he vomits right away, hes been vomiting for more than a week and is put on iv's and taking medicine for vomiting but nothing is helping, the doctor gave him gleevec and he holds it in for 2 hours or more in his stomach without vomiting but does gleevec work even if he vomits after the 2 hours, if anyone knows please provide me with information what to do, we are hoping the tumor will shrink in size but how long will it take to see progress, if he eats he will feel better
please i need information, and we are also out of the country, and his case is rare here and there are only 2 doctors that know of this disease but i dont have good information, were can i get information or if i can send his full report to an online organization or something that can help me figure out with his case, i dont know what to do and its been really hard for the both of us, what can i do thanks for ur help if there is anyone

There are some excellent online support groups for GIST that can directly help you with your situation and offer better advice than anyone here can. Contact them:

GIST Support International

LifeRaft Group


GIST Cancer Research Fund

Best wishes to you. If he is having trouble with vomiting you should call his doctor immediately. There are meds he can take that will ease that problem. Call his doctor with any concerns . .day or night.

For more support you can contact Cancer Care . .they might be able to help you as a caregiver as well as offer suggestions for your husband:


Hang in there.  (+ info)


What are signs and symptoms of tumors... Because for some reason im paranoid that I have a tumor possibly on the back of my brain... B/c the back of my neck always hurts... and tons of other things. And also... My back hurts a little bit to, feels like my spine almost...

You probably have muscle spasms from your posture. Try head and neck massage.
A tumor would most likely have neurololgical symptoms, like seizure, weakness, numbness, or psych symptoms.  (+ info)


if u have tumors in the pancreas can this affect your eyes

Bert is right, the whites of your eyes can turn yellow as can your skin.
(one of the signs of the 'silent disease')  (+ info)


i have a strange lump in my neck that moves when i touch it its is there everyday i knever thaugh it as anything untill i relay felt it today could it possibly be a tumor ? what cause a tumor im only 16 poor diet maybe? i could realy use some helpful answers
your probaly right thank you i should of read this before i asked the same question again

Sweetheart, the only person who can tell you what your lump could be is your doctor. It's probably not a big deal, and just so you know- not all tumors are cancer. There is a pretty common sort which is basically nothing more than a lump of fat, and it could also just be a cyst. Just quit thinking up worst case scenarios and get to the doctor. That will put your mind at ease. Meanwhile, think positive. Most of what happens to people is not that big a deal, and easily taken care of.   (+ info)

does anyone know much about the cure rate for a gastrointestinal stomach tumour or the treatments for it?

my husband just had a large tumour removed from his stomach and will soon be starting the drug GLEEVEC. any info would be helpful.

Yes. This is one of the cancers in which there is tons of research and a 'higher' rate of remission and/or cure than other abdominal cancers. There are four or five very active support groups that have all the latest information about gleevec, sutent, and other kinds of new targeted therapy drugs. Gleevec is a first line treatment for GIST after surgery . . . they will try this first because research has shown that most patients with GIST benefit from using it . . those who have a Gleevec resistance often can go on to try some of the other targeted drugs . .and do well on them . .sutent is one .. there are others.

ASCO: GIST research

NCCN: Management of Patients with GIST
http://www.nccn.org/JNCCN/PDF/GIST2007.pdf  (+ info)

What causes tumors in rats and whats the best way to prevent them from occurring?

A few years ago when I was a freshmen in High School I had a siamese rat which got 2 tumors under her front legs and a large one on the side of her face. Now I'm in college and just yesterday I brought a female fancy rat (named Macie) which is about 3 months old.

What could I do to prevent Macie from getting tumors?

What causes tumors in rats?

Congratulations on your new rat.

Most tumors that rats get (both female and male) are mammary tumors, even though they aren't all actually located on the chest. Many people very effectively prevent their development in females rats by spaying the rat. That is one option if you are really concerned about tumors.

Other people (including myself) do not choose to spay because even though there is a risk that our rats will get mammary tumors, most mammary tumors are benign and a good, reasonable vet will remove them for a relatively small cost. This is a less serious operation than a spay and can extend a rat's life up to a year in many cases!

Many people don't realize that it is cheap and easy and relatively safe to take most tumors off of rats (as long as you have good rat friendly and experienced vet), so this is something you should keep in mind. There is no reason to live in fear of tumors.

The other really important thing to keep in mind is diet and exercise. This article is a very good introduction to rat dietary needs and has a list of foods that cause and prevent cancer in rats: http://www.ratfanclub.org/diet.html

Exerisise may lower the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Believe it or not things have changed rapidly in the rat world during the last ten years and cancer is no longer the number one threat to pet rats' health. Mycoplasmosis, a bacterial infection which all rats have and have had for decades, now kills more rats because it leaves them vulnerable to infections by secondary bacteria which humans have made stronger by over using antibiotics!

To learn about this and anything else you want to know about your rat's health I suggest this website: http://ratguide.com/health/ It is the rat keeper's bible.

Finally, I would like to encourage you to get a same sex companion for your single rat as rats lead much heathier lives and are much friendlier pets if they can live in pairs. I suggest you read this article: http://www.nfrs.org/company.html  (+ info)

Does anyone know what the life expectancy is for someone with gastric intestinal stromal tumour ?

Like any type of cancer prognosis is dependent on location, grade of tumor, stage of disease and in this case . . size. GIST has a better prognosis than most gastrointestinal cancers, due primarily to the discovery a few years back of a new targeted chemotherapy called Gleevec. At the moment there is much hope for a 'curative' approach to the disease. Those who do not respond to Gleevec will sometimes respond to Sutent . . there is currently much research going on for GIST and there is far more encouraging news for this disease than for most.
Complete surgical removal still remains the standard for best chance at survival.

You can read more about GIST and the latest treatments and research at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists site:


There are also informative online support groups for GIST:

The LifeRaft Group
http://www.gistsupport.org/  (+ info)

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