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GI LMS, GIST, Gleevec, Glivec, STI-571|
Gleevec OR Glivec OR STI-571, are all the same drug, imatinib mesylate, just named differently at different times in its development:
GIST [GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumor] is a form of specialized smooth muscle cancer that, until recently, was lumped with LMS. It was exceedingly difficult to treat. However, there has been a major development, and Gleevec, a targeted molecular drug, has been shown to be very effective in treating this tumor.
If the tumor tests positive for c-Kit, Gleevec will most probably be effective in treating it. The c-kit test is done on the wax block of tumor that is stored in the laboratory, and should be done by a laboratory experienced in its use, as both false negatives and false positives have been reported otherwise.
Any LMS in the gastrointestinal tract or abdomen would be a prime candidate for this testing. Read the articles and discussion below, and there is more discussion in the Tutorial on the website http://www.leiomyosarcoma.org/staging/welcome.htm
Here's an article:
Also, you should read the rest of the site:
A highly respected sarcoma specialist, Dr. George Demetri of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, hosts it.
Also, here's an article from JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association:
Quoting from the article:
"A new oral drug, imatinib mesylate (formerly called STI-571), has proven so effective in clinical trials involving patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) that the US Food and Drug Administration approved it last month in record time."
"Now, in two studies presented at the ASCO meeting, American and European researchers have revealed that the drug (known by the trade names Gleevec [in the United States] and Glivec [in Europe]) also shows remarkable promise against a type of solid tumor, the gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)."
"Researchers had previously demonstrated that Gleevec also is able to block the enzyme action of a defective version of another tyrosine kinase, KIT, which is the product of a mutation in a gene called c-kit. Some cancers, including GISTs, have c-kit mutations causing KIT-driven uncontrolled cell growth."
People with GIST who were in the clinical trials for Gleevec, formed a group called the Life Raft Group. It can be reached at http://www.liferaftgroup.net and provides, among other things, the monthly newsletters. It is of interest primarily for GIST patients. You should know that the Life Raft Group's October or November 2001 newsletter included a study on the side effects of the drug.
This is the better site for CML [chronic myelogenous leukemia] patients: http://www.newcmldrug.com/
It is run by Jerry Mayfield and has been focusing upon CLM and Gleevec/Glivec/STI-571 BUT they recently added a section on GIST.
On the ACOR L-M-Sarcoma list, there are GIST patients who are on Gleevec.
If you join the list, and introduce yourself, I am sure that some of the people taking Gleevec will surface and help you with your questions. http://www.acor.org
Medscape has a section dealing with Gleevec and GIST. To gain complete access to Medscape, go to http://www.medscape.com and register. It is free, and you do not have to be a doctor. The site will save your username and password in a cookie, and you will have complete access to the site.
For Financial Assistance in Affording Gleevec
Call the Novartis Hotline for financial assistance for Gleevec: 877-GLEEVEC
compiled doctordee December 2001
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