Dr. Joensuu on the Imatinib for High-Risk GIST Trial

Dr. Heikki Joensuu from the Helsinki University Central Hospital Summarizes the Imatinib for High-Risk high-risk gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) Trial

Heikki Joensuu, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland, discusses the randomized phase III trial that looked at imatinib (Gleevec) after surgery in patients with high-risk gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

The trial compared two arms, one with patient receiving imatinib for 1 year and the other receiving the drug for 3 years. The primary endpoint of the trials was recurrence-free survival (RFS). The 3-year arm demonstrated superior improvement in RFS and improved 5-year overall survival benefits of 92% vs 81.7% in the 1-year arm.

An important note for this trial is that it examined high-risk GIST patients that experience recurrence in approximately 50% of cases. This trial demonstrated a 5-year RFS of 65.6% in the 3-year arm and 47.9% in the other.