Professor Desmond Yip with the ALT GIST poster

Preliminary results for ALT-GIST released

The preliminary results of the ALT-GIST clinical trial have been released at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

ALT-GIST investigated the best treatment for patients with metastatic gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST). It examined whether an alternating regimen of two drug therapies, imatinib and regorafenib, was safe and active as a first line treatment for these patients.

GIST is a rare cancer that is commonly found in the stomach or small intestine. Like many other cancers, the risk of developing GIST increases with age, but there are currently no known environmental or behavioural factors known to increase the risk of developing GIST.

There is currently no standard screening test for GIST, and there are no known methods of preventing it. Finding the best treatment possible once patients have been diagnosed is key.

The current standard treatment for advanced GIST is imatinib alone. However, GIST patients can build up resistance to imatinib and relapse. The ALT-GIST investigated if alternating the treatment regimens could delay resistance and improve outcomes for patients.

The preliminary results of ALT-GIST found no meaningful difference for patients between the two treatment regimens after nine months of treatment. Based on these results it can be concluded that the alternating regimen will not improve outcomes for patients with advanced GIST. There was no new or unexpected toxicity observed in the alternating regimen.

ALT-GIST has been conducted through a multinational collaboration involving the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG0, the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), and the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group (SSG).

The study is ongoing, and other outcomes will be reported on in the future. PET scan imaging data as well as blood and tissue samples have been collected for future imaging and biomarker substudies.

The results were presented by Professor Yip in a poster discussion session at the ASCO Annual Meeting. Click here to view the abstract.