​Connecting With Patients With Cancer in Spite of COVID-19: Kiri A. Cook, MD

The stress of having cancer and the physical and financial toll of treatment can be difficult for patients, even under normal circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients face additional stressors, including not only the fear of mortality from COVID-19 but also the emotional impact of isolation. This sense of isolation can be present even in patients' cancer care, as many appointments take place through videoconferencing and telephone calls; even when in-person appointmen...

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Avapritinib Approved: Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor With PDGFRA Exon 18 Mutation

The FDA has approved avapritinib (AyvakitTM, Blueprint Medicines) for adults with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) with platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) exon 18 mutations, including D842V mutations, the most common type of exon 18 mutation. Up to 10% of patients with GIST harbor PDGFRA mutations, which have been linked to GIST development. "GIST harboring a PDGFRA exon 18 mutation do not respond to standard therapies for GIST," commented Rich...

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Enhancing Treatment for Patients With GIST: Michael Heinrich, MD

Because gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) has an estimated incidence of 3,300 to 6,000 new cases per year in the United States, comprising less than 1% of all gastrointestinal tumors, the rarity of this tumor type can make it more challenging for oncologists and other members of the cancer care team to stay up to date on the latest treatments. Michael C. Heinrich, MD, lead investigator of the phase 1 NAVIGATOR trial, recently spoke with i3 Health about the FDA's approval of avapritinib (Ayva...

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