GDOL ScottsdaleThe Life Raft Group held its first GIST Day of Learning 2018 in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona on March 10th. GDOLs are free, one-day programs that provide both education and support to the GIST community. Top GIST specialists present the latest on research and treatment options as well as provide a comprehensive review of the science behind GIST. GDOLs provide an opportunity not only to meet and interact with local expert practitioners in an intimate setting, but also for patients to connect with one another in a supportive environment.

Over 60 patients, caregivers and researchers attended the weekend event. Mahesh Seetharam,MD and Donald Northfelt, MD both from Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, opened the day with an “Introduction to GIST 101”. Many of the attendees were newly diagnosed, so this session was very informative.

Surgical Management of GIST is a concern for many GIST patients. Nabil Wasif from Mayo Clinic Phoenix provided insight about “Surgery: What to Expect and Management After Surgery”.

Scott Kriegshauser, MD from Mayo Phoenix discussed the” Role of Interventional Radiology in Treatment of localized Metastatic Disease”, followed by Michael Gordon, MD from HonorHealth Scottsdale who discussed “Treatments, Promising Clinical Trials and Immunotherapy”. Eric Yancey, Pharm.D closed out the day with a discussion about “Management of Drug Side Effects.

GIST Days of Learning provide an opportunity to interact with the physicians and presenters as well as other patients and caregivers.

The session was extremely interactive. A huge thank you to all the physicians who spent the day taking questions from the attendees. I would like to personally thank both Nikki Morales and Colleen Carney for sharing their stories with us.

Look for both Michigan and Boston GIST Days of Learning in the fall.

Thank you to Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer and Deciphera for sponsoring our 2018 GDOLs.