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Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) Treatment Options

Male provider standing while talking to female patient

After the diagnosis and staging of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), we will develop a treatment plan that’s personalized to you. Most patients with a primary, localized GIST can be cured with surgery alone. However, if your cancer has spread, you may receive additional modalities of treatment.

GISTs most commonly spread to the liver or peritoneum (a layer of tissue that lines and covers abdominal organs). Targeted cancer therapies can be used to manage and control metastatic GISTs, however, they are rarely completely cured. Chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy (using imatinib or sunitinib) may also be used to treat metastatic GISTs both before and after surgical removal of a tumor.

Our treatment options for GISTs include:

Understanding a cancer diagnosis and treatment options can be difficult. If you would like to speak with a cancer nurse about a diagnosis, please call 800-789-7366 (PENN).

Ways to Give to the GIST Research Fund

To support the Abramson Cancer Center's GIST Research Fund, please contact Andrew Bellet at or 215-573-0548 or visit