The Life Raft Group is launching a new program called GIST Day of Learning. In response to the requests of previous attendees of our biennial meeting, Life Fest, for more opportunities like this, we have created a one-day program full of education and support for people who have GIST and their caregivers.

By hosting these events regionally throughout the year at different cancer centers we hope to make it easier for people to attend. Since we will also be hosting Life Fest this year in Las Vegas in early November we are only hosting one GIST Day of Learning event in 2012 in Miami, Fla.

For our inaugural event, we are very excited to work with Dr. Jonathan Trent and the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The event will be held in the Miami Beach area on May 19, 2012. We will be sending out details about the exact location as soon as they are available. This event will be free for GISTers and their families to attend. You can register by going here. (You can also view the tentative agenda below.)

For many of you who may not know about these types of meetings, it was almost ten years ago in Cambridge, Mass. when the first educational event was held for people facing a newly defined cancer called GIST. That event grew into what we now call Life Fest. Life Fest has been held in different cities every other year since then. People attend from all over the world to gain a better understanding of their disease, the latest updates on GIST treatment and gain support from other people who are facing the same obstacles they are. Life Fest is our favorite event because even though our bond is through cancer, it is still a joyous event overflowing with support and hope for a cure.

About Dr. Trent

gist-day-of-learning-trentJonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD is the Co-Director of the Musculosketal Center, Director of the Sarcoma Medical Research Program and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Trent recently transferred to Miami after leaving his position as an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Trent has published numerous abstracts and research articles in leading journals, as well as book chapters, and is a frequently requested lecturer. He is the chief editor of the sarcoma section of Current Opinions in Oncology and on the editorial board of The Chinese Journal of Clinical Oncology, Rare Tumors, and Translational Medicine as well as a journal reviewer on a number of journals, including Nature Medicine, Lancet, Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer Research. His clinical interests focus on GIST patient care, clinical trials and translational research. The excellence of his GIST clinical team led to his recognition as the 2010 GIST Physician of the Year by the Life Raft Group. He is the principal investigator, as well as a collaborator, on several ongoing clinical trials that are examining the use of kinase inhibitors alone and in combination with novel drugs in patients with primary and metastatic GIST. He is a principle investigator of the ongoing GIST registry and is credited with several breakthroughs in GIST that stemmed from his 5-year NIH K-23 GIST research grant. Dr. Trent earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and his MD and PhD in cancer biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center, and a fellowship in medical oncology at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center while serving as chief fellow. Dr. Trent is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.