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Novartis Oncology Launches GIST Alliance™ for Patients and Caregivers

Novartis Oncology is introducing GIST Alliance™, a unique support program with the goal to help healthcare professionals optimize outcomes in KIT-positive GIST patients.

East Hanover, NJ (PRWEB) January 29, 2009 -- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are soft tissue sarcomas. GISTs are rare cancer tumors which usually appear in the stomach or small intestine and are most often (95% of the time) characterized by the presence of a defective KIT protein. Abnormal KIT-positive (KIT+) cells multiply out of control, forming a tumor.

Novartis Oncology is introducing GIST Alliance™, a unique support program with a significant goal: to help optimize patient outcomes in KIT-positive GIST patients.

There are an estimated 3,300 to 6,000 new GIST cases reported each year in the United States (1,2). At diagnosis, approximately 2,500 of these cases are metastatic--cancer that has spread from its original site in the body to another location (3).

Novartis Oncology, the global leader in KIT-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumor (KIT+ GIST) therapy, has been working with healthcare professionals and patients worldwide to help improve the treatment of KIT+ GIST. GIST Alliance is a distinctive, integrated program that builds on the support and educational materials that Novartis Oncology has been providing to patients and healthcare professionals by offering access to the most current resources.

For GIST patients and caregivers, GIST Alliance provides and facilitates access to:

  • Educational information to help patients better understand GIST-- its causes, diagnosis, and management--and the critical importance of adherence to GIST treatment
  • Important questions to ask of the healthcare team so patients/caregivers can maximize these interactions and play an active role in GIST treatment
  • Comprehensive glossary of GIST terms-to-know so patients/caregivers are well-informed
  • Reimbursement support services to help ensure patients get the treatments they need
  • Email, telephone, and direct mail support services to respond to additional inquiries of patients/caregivers/loved ones

Novartis Oncology is committed to develop and deliver a comprehensive treatment strategy to KIT+GIST patients through GIST Alliance.

GIST Alliance is available at no cost to patients, caregivers, or their treating physicians. Enrollment and/or participation in GIST Alliance are voluntary.

For more information visit the GIST Alliance Web site at:

1. Corless CL, Heinrich MC. Molecular pathobiology of gastrointestinal stromal sarcomas. Annu Rev Pathol Mech Dis. 2008;3:557-586.

2. Demetri GD, Benjamin RS, Blanke CD, et al. NCCN task force report: management of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)--update of the NCCN clinical practice guidelines. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2007;5(Suppl2):S1-S29.

3. Griffin JM, St Amand M, Demetri GD. Nursing implication of imatinib as molecularly targeted therapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2005;9(2):161-169.


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