Note: The content of this article is current to the time of its posting on October 1, 2011. Please continue to check our site for the latest information on generics.

Many of us have been lucky enough to have reached a plateau of successful treatment, and in reaching this level, we may have become complacent about our care; but it is important to be proactive to ensure that we are receiving proper treatment.

Some simple ways to stay vigilant about your care include finding the right doctor, getting side-effects under control so that you can take your medicine regularly, and having a mutational test to identify what type of GIST you have (such as pediatric, adult, exon 11, exon 9, etc.). In addition, for Gleevec-sensitive GIST patients with manageable to no side-effects, the most important thing that you can do is to maintain adequate levels of Gleevec in your body. The only way to know if you have enough Gleevec in your body is have a plasma or blood level test (BLT).

“I do not believe that you can play “catch-up” when it comes to Gleevec, “ says LRG Science Director, Jerry Call, “You can’t take a marginal dose for two years, become resistant, then raise your dose and get the same response as if you had been on an adequate dose the whole time.”

Data from the Life Raft Group registry suggests that over 60% of patients on 400 mg of Gleevec checking their Gleevec plasma levels for the first time will be less than 1100 ng/mL (the standard reference number currently used to determine a therapeutic dose of Gleevec).

“If this reference level ultimately is proven correct this means that over half of the patients taking Gleevec may be taking too low a dose,” adds Jerry.

Yes, there’s still room for debate. We are not yet sure that 1100 ng/mL is the right reference number and there are valid questions about the precise applicability for plasma level testing in the management of Gleevec.

Despite that, given that the test is free and requires only a blood test within a specific time frame, we believe that plasma level testing is something that every Gleevec-sensitive GIST survivor should have.

A compelling reason to have plasma testing done now is that the opportunity for such testing may be running out. TDM Pharmaceutical Research, LLC has partnered with The LRG to make this testing available for free because TDM laboratory shares our point of view on the potential value in using this test to help GIST patients survive!

This free period of testing was originally scheduled to end November 2011 but TDM has granted us an extension until January 31, 2012. However, this program may be suspended if we do not get enough numbers of patients taking advantage of this free tool!
To get this free testing done, please contact:

TDM Pharmaceutical Research, LLC
100 Biddle Ave Suite 202
Newark, DE 19702