From OHC

August 16, 2019

Many patients diagnosed with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) receive the protocol treatment of surgery followed by medication, and most experience positive results. But what happens when the medication stops working? This situation is all too common, and is one reason why OHC cancer experts are participating in a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a different treatment for patients with advanced GIST. Another reason is to offer patients hope for improved results or outcomes.

Patients who are diagnosed with GIST typically have surgery to remove the tumor. They then receive the drug, imatinib (Gleevec). While many experience positive results, it may not be the case for everyone. Some patients’ tumors stop responding to treatment and some don’t respond at all. And other patients’ tumors can’t be removed surgically due to the location of the tumor.

In the past, there haven’t been many treatment options for patients with GIST, but in the last 10 years or so, recent advancements in targeted therapy drugs have changed that.

Gleevec is an effective first-line treatment for patients with advanced GIST. Unfortunately, for most patients, it will either stop working at some point or it won’t work at all. Now there are new drugs being tested to see if they provide improved outcomes. One of those drugs is avapritinib, and OHC has a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating its effectiveness. This means patients in this region with advanced GIST can enroll in the OHC trial and see if avapritinib will work for them when Gleevec doesn’t.

This is why OHC participates in clinical trials. Clinical trials, like this one for GIST, give patients early access to potentially better treatments – right now, right here. We know through clinical research, we are one step closer to finding a cure for many cancers, and that gives us hope.

OHC’s nationally recognized clinical trials program offers a wide range of trials, and their dedicated research team provides exceptional care and support throughout the trial process. For a list of available clinical trials at OHC, please visit this page or call 1-800-710-4674.

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