medicijnmanCan you be cured when GIST tumors have spread? That question can be answered quickly. At this time, no. The only remedy is to inhibit the growth of tumors as much as possible. The longer, the better.

For that purpose are currently three different medications officially admitted. Glivec, Sutent and Stivarga. Depending on how your body reacts, you can use these at least for a few years. As it is needed (and there are no other options) then the doctors can surgically remove one or more tumors, but after that you’re still dependent on these drugs. For the rest of your life.

Chemotherapy and radiation are not sufficient against GIST. Positively seen (we really look everywhere for bright spots) does that in any case have the advantage that you also do not have to deal with the devastating side effects of these treatments. Generally the side effects of the abovementioned medicines against GIST are milder and better tolerated. To speak thereby about a blessing goes too far, but it is a small benefit.

In addition there is (thankfully) much research about possible new and alternative medications. Who can achieve similar growth inhibitory effect, or …. because you never know, maybe, ever …. could cure GIST. You of course always keep hope.
A brief look at the site of GIST Support International provides in each case an impressive list of more than 50 different ongoing investigations of drugs. Each with its own rather sterile code or even a somewhat exotic-sounding name like Cediranib, Amuvatinib, Dovitinib etc.
That is of course fantastic but, besides that you have to wait and see whether for each case it have the desired result, a new drug also must be officially admitted. And that again takes a long time. An advantage of a united Europe however is that eventually, through a decision of the European Commission, a drug is approved simultaneously to all Member States of the European Union.

Obviously you read every development in the field of cancer with more than ordinary interest. Because in addition to research into medicines specifically for GIST, there are also several international ongoing studies to develop a general anti-cancer drug. The famous egg of Columbus, I should say. You have to be very careful with that, because there is even than always the possibility that such a new drug will work against carcinomas (most cancers) and not against sarcomas (including GIST). And then you have to deal with a new disappointment.

And finally, there are the various wives’ tales. Ranging from medicinal herbal teas, special diets or beneficial fungi to home-garden and kitchen remedies that would work perfectly. Without exception, these stories originated from people who do not have cancer, but have heard that … And as long as you are taking your regular medication (and these remedies are obviously not harmful), it can often do little harm. But to extend your life or even cure? For that I personally, despite its limitations, still prefer to rely on the professional medical world.

One comment on “Medications
  1. Bert Smolders says:

    Afgezien van enkele wonderbaarlijke en onverklaarbare genezingen van enkele “kwakzalvers” zou ik m’n geld ook zetten op de medische wetenschap.

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