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Gleevec(R) substantially reduces risk of cancer returning in patients with life-threatening gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), The Lancet reports
Date:3/18/2009

- Estimated one-year, recurrence-free survival was 98% for Kit-positive GIST patients taking Gleevec vs. 83% for patients taking placebo(1)

- Historically, one in two patients experienced recurrence of GIST(2) within a median of two years after surgery(3)

- Gleevec is the only treatment in the US and Switzerland indicated to reduce risk of recurrence of GIST after surgery; regulatory review is underway in the EU(4)

EAST HANOVER, N.J., March 18, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Data published today online and in an upcoming print issue of The Lancet show that Gleevec(R) (imatinib mesylate) tablets*, when taken after surgery, substantially reduces the rate of recurrence of Kit-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) compared with placebo.

The Phase III study published today was led by the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) and examined post-surgery, or adjuvant, treatment of more than 700 GIST patients. Researchers found that 98% of patients receiving 400 mg of Gleevec daily remained tumor-free one year after surgery. The study also found Gleevec to be safe and well-tolerated, with a low rate of serious adverse events(1).

GIST is a life-threatening cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. After initial surgery to remove the tumor, GIST can return in one of two patients(2) within a median of two years(3).

"The standard of care after surgical removal of primary GIST has been clinical and radiologic observation, since standard chemotherapeutic agents have been ineffective in this disease. This frequently resulted in tumor recurrence," said Ronald DeMatteo, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. "Now, as The Lancet reports, by treating patients with Gleevec after removal of their initial tumor, we can proactively impact the course of this disease by delaying, and in some patients possibly preventing, the re
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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