According to a recent population-based study published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, adjuvant therapy in localized gastrointestinal tumors (GISTs) has increased over time, with patients showing an improved survival compared to those who only undergo surgery.
Localized gastrointestinal tumors (GISTs) are the most common sarcomas of the gastrointestinal tract, with US estimates showing 4,000 to 5,000 new cases every year. According the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) the treatment involves adjuvant imatinib (FDA approved since 2008) treatment for GISTs with intermediate or high risk of recurrence.
In the study titled “Contemporary Patterns and Survival Outcome of Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Localized Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors,” researchers from the American Cancer Society examined the National Cancer Data Base and identified a total of 4,694 patient who were diagnosed with GIST from 2004 to 2011, determining the patterns and factors associated with adjuvant therapy use and survival outcome after resection of localized gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Results revealed that between 2004 and 2011, 26.5% of patients with GISTs received adjuvant therapy and 53,5% of the patients received surgery alone.
Data analysis with logistic regression also showed that the use of adjuvant systemic therapy was 13.2% in 2006, 30.5% in 2007, reached a peak at 37.9% in 2009, and then a decrease to 25.6% in 2011. The use of adjuvant therapy decreased with age and was higher in patients with tumor sizes higher than 10 cm when compared to those with smaller tumors of less than 5 cm (44.1% vs. 15.8%, respectively). Patients who received adjuvant therapy had a 46% lower risk of death than those who received surgery alone. Furthermore, survival benefit was statistically significant for GISTs with larger tumor size.
“Adjuvant systemic therapy use in clinical practice has significantly increased over time with variation by certain factors such as age, race/ethnicity, and tumor size. As the systemic therapy of GISTs evolves, capturing more up-to-date and high-quality data, in addition to clear and consistent treatment guidelines, is very important to reliably demonstrate treatment patterns and survival outcomes associated with the adjuvant therapy use in clinical practice,” concluded the authors in a recent news release.