This year’s Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) conference held in Chicago on October 26-29 will not only feature presentations on GIST, but some of those presentations will be given by LRG Researchers and staff members.
CTOS is an international group of physicians and scientists with primary interest in the tumors of connective tissues including sarcomas and GISTs. The goal of the society is to advance the care of patients with these tumors and to increase knowledge of all aspects of the biology of these tumors, including basic and clinical research.

Presentations this year will include several by Life Raft Group Research Team members including:

  • Long-term follow-up of patients with GIST undergoing metastasectomy in the era of Gleevec – An EORTC-STBSG collaborative analysis of prognostic factors, by Dr. Sebastian Bauer and colleagues.
  • Gleevec-induced quiescence and the DREAM complex in GIST: Searching for novel therapeutic targets, by Dr. Anette Duensing and colleagues.

Long-term follow up data will be presented for the SWOG S0033 randomized phase III Gleevec for metastatic GIST trial (presented by Dr. Laurence Baker of the University of Michigan). In addition, long-term follow-up data from a group of 169 Life Raft Group patients will be presented by Executive Director, Norman Scherzer.

The objective of the Life Raft Group study was to assess the influence of Gleevec dose on metastatic GIST patients and to evaluate the difference of using starting dose of Gleevec versus the last reported dose of Gleevec. Although not a randomized trial, this study has raised the issue of whether or not there is a different way of looking at dose/Gleevec response.

Initial results of the LRG study were reported at the 2004 CTOS meeting in Montreal and subsequently updated in December 2007 (published in Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer in 2009). This report provides long-term follow-up of these patients through May 2011.
When analyzed by starting dose, the LRG results were similar to randomized trial results and did not show any difference in overall survival between higher doses and standard dose Gleevec. However, when analyzed by last reported dose overall survival was significantly longer in the higher dose group (most of whom were on 600 mg of Gleevec).

The Life Raft Group will also have a poster of the demographics and survival reported by LRG members. As of October 2010, 23.5 percent of LRG members in the registry reported having metastatic disease at diagnosis. Of those that did not have metastatic disease at diagnosis, 501 (41.2%) later had a recurrence. Overall, 65 percent of members in the registry had metastatic disease (785 of 1215) as of October 2010. Significant differences were noted in gender distribution with females diagnosed more commonly up to age 35 and males more commonly after age 35. In different age groups, significant differences in survival, types of mutations, median age at diagnosis and primary tumor location were also noted.

Other GIST presenters will include, Dr. Peter Hohenberger, Dr. Piotr Rutkowski, David Reynoso, Dr. Duffaud Florence, Dr. Anthony Conley and Dr. Suzanne George.