ASCO Event Highlights Medical Issues that Need Attention around the World
Chicago, IL—The Global GIST Network, in partnership with the Life Raft Group and The MAX Foundation, hosted an event for physicians from low and middle income countries on Friday, June 1st during the time of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference.
The meeting drew physicians from many countries as they discussed best practices for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) and convened a panel to discuss GIST case studies. Panelists included Dr. Dennis Tudtud, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (Cebu City, Philippines); Dr. Matías Chacón, Instituto Alexander Fleming (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Dr. Yoon-Koo Kang, Asan Medical Center (Seoul, South Korea); and Dr. Jonathan Trent, Sylvester Cancer Center (Miami, USA).
Key themes during the group discussion with the panel included:
- How treatment options improve with more accurate diagnosis
- The cost of diagnostic tests as a primary healthcare challenge within low and middle income countries
- In the US, community oncologists continue to undervalue the benefits of mutational testing
- Few low and middle income countries are utilizing mutational testing because of inaccessibility
- Surgery is the standard of care in local disease
- Adjuvant imatinib therapy benefits both intermediate and high risk patients
- After failure of standard imatinib and sunitinib, emerging new treatments may include: Investigational new agents or a re-challenge of imatinib/sunitinib
The event provided an opportunity for networking among key opinion leaders and physicians treating GIST in low and middle income countries. Case studies and solutions were presented to facilitate a dialogue around GIST treatment needs globally.
This forum aimed to improve the knowledge among physicians on how to accurately diagnosis this rare cancer. It also focused on the importance to educate physicians about current and emerging treatment choices for GIST patients, as many local oncologists are unfamiliar with the latest GIST treatment options.
About The Global GIST Network:
The Global GIST Network, presenting the event, is a worldwide directory of resources for GIST patients and their families, highlighting options in many countries and languages. The network is comprised of organizations that support access to treatment for GIST patients through local liaisons, web pages and information sharing. The Life Raft Group is one of the creators of the Global GIST Network and The Max Foundation is a participating member.
About the Life Raft Group:
The Life Raft Group (LRG) is a 501(c)(3) organization with a simple focus: to cure a form of cancer — GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors) – and to help those living with it until then. Our mission is to ensure the survival of GIST patients through a comprehensive approach connecting individual patients’ needs, the worldwide community of GIST advocates and the global health and research environment.
About The MAX Foundation:
The MAX Foundation (MAX) is an international non-profit dedicated to improving the lives and survival rates of patients with blood cancer and rare cancers worldwide. The vision of MAX is a world in which all cancer patients have access to the best treatments, care, and support available. Through the MAX International Patient Helpline, each year the organization provides free advocacy and support services to over 20,000 families from more than 100 countries.