Surgery on residual GIST tumors may improve survival rates, according to an article from . It is reported that having surgery to remove residual GIST tumors was able to increase time to tumor progression for patients who respond to imatinib therapy. The findings from a retrospective study of 134 patients showed that this significantly increased time to tumor progression to 88 months, compared with 43 months using imatinib alone.

Dr. Seong Joon Park recently spoke at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He revealed that the “surgery decreased threefold the likelihood of disease progression and decreased five-fold the risk of death.”  Park and his team reviewed the records of patients that had been stable for 6 months or had solid response to imatinib (Gleevec). The group consisted of 92 patients that had received the drug treatment alone and 42 that underwent surgery. Patients that had surgery immediately went back onto therapy. The median follow-up to this study was 59 months.

Dr. Park also stated:

“This treatment strategy is worth trying as a clinical practice if the medical center is large enough to have an experienced multidisciplinary team and to have low morbidity and mortality associated with surgery.”

For more information on how surgery on GIST tumors can increase survival rate, be sure to read the complete article here.