Gastro-Intestinal Stroma Tumor (GIST) is a rare form of cancer of the stomach or small intestine. Up to now, only one effective treatment has existed for GIST: the use of Glivec. However, over time, this remedy becomes ineffective for a large percentage of the patients. Along with colleagues in Leuven, the research group of Peter Marynen of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), connected to the Catholic University of Leuven, has uncovered the process underlying the frequent ineffectiveness of Glivec. In addition, the researchers have shown that PKC412 - an experimental drug currently in the second phase of clinical research - can be effective in helping these patients once again. This possible alternative to Glivec, and the genetic understanding of the development of resistance to Glivec, should make it possible to prescribe a new highly targeted therapy for patients in the future.
GIST: a specific form of gastro-intestinal cancer
GIST is a rare form of gastro-intestinal cancer that strikes some 175 Belgians each year. Often, by the time it is discovered, there are already metastases in other organs, which make it impossible to remove the GIST tumors surgically. Furthermore, the other traditional cancer treatments - chemotherapy and radiation treatment - produce little result. Since 2002, there has been an effective treatment for GIST: Glivec. And up to now, this has been the only remedy for treating GIST effectively.
Sooike Stoops | alfa
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