In a recent article entitled “Emerging Agents for the Treatment of Advanced, Imatinib-Resistant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors: Current Status and Future Directions” published online in Springer for Research and Development, LRG Research Team member Sebastian Bauer and leading GIST expert, Heikki Joensuu, describe the major targeted therapies for GIST, as well as review the potential treatments being explored in the current research landscape.
The authors indicated that mutated KIT kinases that cause drug resistance occur frequently in patients with advanced GIST treated with imatinib as a first-line treatment, making the need for alternative treatment approaches a priority for researchers.
The approaches being investigated include other types of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) with different mechanisms of action, as well as investigating combination therapies and varying methods of dosing.
Presented in the article are detailed descriptions of agents currently under investigation, and the results of the studies so far.
What is clear from the study is that imatinib is still “strongly positioned as the recommended first-line agent for most patients with advanced GISTs because of its good efficacy and tolerability.” (Bauer, S. and Joensuu, H.) It is also clear, according to the authors, that many of these novel agents warrant further study.
It is a time in the history of GIST treatment that holds promise for the future, and underlines the importance of investigative study. As results of these studies become available, we will continue to publish updated information.