Your Treatment Team for GIST - Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) are relatively uncommon soft tissue sarcomas found in the wall of the stomach, esophagus, intestines, rectum or anus. They develop in the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), part of the autonomous nervous system that sends signals to the digestive system to begin the process of turning food into nutrients the body can use.
Surgery is the primary choice for removing GIST and any nearby affected organs or tissues. The GIST Team offers a high-volume surgical service with expertise in surgical treatment of GIST.
Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses therapeutic drugs to kill or slow tumor growth and prevent recurrence. It is often prescribed in addition to surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle. In addition to oral and systemic chemotherapy, patients with GIST may receive targeted biologic therapy.
- Radiation Oncology
Radiation Therapy uses a type of high-energy X-ray to kill cancer cells. It is often combined with surgery or chemotherapy to prevent recurrence of the cancer. Radiation is also used when surgery is not an option because the cancer is too far advanced. The GIST Team offers brachytherapy and neoadjuvant radiation therapy, as well as the latest high-tech, extremely precise radiation techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and Novalis Radiosurgery.
- Clinical Research Trials
Moffitt’s Sarcoma and GI Tumor Programs support landmark research in drug discovery, surgery, molecular therapy, immune therapy, endoscopy, risk assessment and detection. Breakthrough discoveries in the lab become early stage translational research studies and then patient clinical trials. Moffitt is known for its cutting-edge research in personalized medicine, which designs targeted treatments that improve patient outcomes, reduce side effects and prevent disease recurrence.
- Treatment for Pain
Moffitt Cancer Center offers extensive pain and palliative care services. Your GIST Treatment Team will address both pain management and symptom management to help improve your quality of life. Pain-relieving medications and various surgical procedures can help reduce symptoms. In addition, Moffitt’s Integrative Medicine service offers a number of complementary modalities, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, imagery and relaxation techniques that can help control pain and offer a greater sense of well-being.