All currently available drug therapies in GIST have been tested in clinical studies in order to be approved today. These clinical studies lead to progress in GIST therapy and improved outlook for today’s patients. Controlled clinical studies are essential for determining the value of new treatments and their influence on the quality of life of patients.
For patients with GIST, participation in studies may be an important means of accessing alternative or even new treatment options. However, studies are also important in a “one for all” sense: Only when individuals participate in these studies can questions be answered for future GIST patients.
A few facts to consider:
- Patients who participate in clinical studies have the advantage of getting access to new therapy options.
- Every study has advantages and risks as well as criteria for eligibility and non-eligibility. Thorough examination and explanations are crucial before being able to participate.
- Most clinical studies are set up to test a new kind of medication against a standard therapy in order to gain insight into the possible benefits of the new therapy.
- Patients can drop out of a clinical study at any time, for any reason.
When considering entering a study, the following information must be made available to you:
- Basic information about “clinical studies” in general
- The eligibility and non-eligibility criteria of each study
- Possible alternatives/options to the planned study
- Current information about your disease (reports, medical imaging)
- Possible consequences (health, psychological, organizational, financial, etc.), which may affect you (especially important when participating in studies abroad)
- Comprehensive answers to all your questions from the study director or the person conducting it
Important: Not all doctors who treat GIST are aware of every single study currently conducted. Usually, these studies only take place in a few selected expert centers for GIST. Therefore, please consult your national patient group or GIST expert center to find out which studies might be available.