Page 1 of 7: Introduction
A gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or GIST, could not be identified reliably by testing until the late 1990s. Because of the difficulty in making an accurate diagnosis, in some patients, GIST was classified as another type of GI cancer, which skewed statistics on how many people actually had GIST. The American Cancer Society currently estimates that about 4000 to 6000 new cases of GIST are diagnosed in the United States every year.2 GIST does not respond to traditional chemotherapy; the treatment for patients with this disease may include watchful waiting, surgery, and limited targeted drugs.1 Some new therapies, including immunotherapy, are now being investigated in clinical trials for patients with GIST.
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