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 diffiuclity in making an accurate diagnosis, insome 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 4,000 to 6,000 new cases of GIST are diagnosed in the United States everu 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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