KIT exon 11 and exon 9 mutations represent the two most common types of mutations (wild-type GIST is technically not a type of mutation but a lack of mutations) found in GIST patients. About 60 to 65 percent of GIST patients have a KIT exon 11 mutation and about 10 to15 percent have a KIT exon 9 mutation.
Here, you can register for Life Fest, view pictures, video and presentations from past Life Fests, download a nomination form for GIST Clinician of the Year and download materials for our new project: Tree of Life.
GIST is a great example of how science can impact outcomes in cancer patients. As a malignancy, GIST has fewer changes in its genes than many other cancers. Thus, the discovery by Hirota and colleagues in 1998 that GIST contained mutations in the KIT gene was a breakthrough for the treatment of GIST. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as imatinib and sunitinib that target KIT, as well as PDGFRA, have significantly improved the outcomes for patients with GIST. Clinicians at the bedside of their patients have seen the impact of these drugs and have also had to face the challenges of what to do when therapy doesn’t work. How might we do better?