The Life Raft Group completed the 2016 GIST Day of Learning series in St. Louis on October 8, 2016 at Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University in St. Louis. A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Brian Van Tine, Dr. Peter Oppelt and Jessica Andrews for their help in organizing the event.
An intimate group of patients and caregivers benefited from an impressive lineup of presenters from the Midwest. The passion, dedication and comradery of these presenters was evident as participants were able to ask questions throughout the four- hour session and receive answers from more than one physician.
Dr. Angela Hirbe started off the afternoon summarizing the services offered at Siteman Cancer Center. Dr. Oppelt (Siteman) continued with an informative session on GIST and Clinical Trials. Dr. Hawkins (Siteman) followed with the surgical perspective, discussing when and why to have surgery and its benefit to GIST patients.
Dr. Scott Okuno from the Mayo Clinic gave an impressive presentation on Wild Type GIST and Dr. Mohammed Milhem from Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Iowa Healthcare spoke about immunotherapy.
Dr. Brain Van Tine (Siteman) rounded out the physician presentations with a discussion about metabolism therapies coming to trial. The final session was on” Psychosocial Implications and GIST,” and was presented by Yasmin Asvat, PhD.
Laura Occhiuzzi (LRG) spoke about the importance of data, joining the patient registry and donating tissue in the name of research. Participants left with a feeling of hope, knowing that new treatments and new trials are on the horizon.
We would like to acknowledge the sponsors that make GDOLs possible: Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer, and Genentech. Mark your calendars! We will begin our 2017 GDOL series in beautiful LaJolla, California on February 25. Please stay tuned to the LRG website and emails for more information on these and other events.