Treatment for GIST

At Fox Chase Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary medical team works closely to accurately diagnose your GIST and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

As a regional and national leader in cancer care, Fox Chase has a wealth of experience treating many types of sarcomas. Our skilled sarcoma team meets regularly to review patient cases and map out a personalized treatment plan. We strive to treat your cancer in the least invasive way possible using innovative surgical techniques and combination therapies that give you the best chance of a successful outcome.

Our doctors are also actively involved in developing new therapies for treating GIST. Through clinical trials, we are able to offer our patients access to promising treatments and experimental therapies that may not be available elsewhere. Ask your Fox Chase doctor if a clinical trial is right for you.

Your Treatment Options

Treatment for GIST depends on the stage, type, and grade of your cancer; whether it has spread to other tissue; and your age, health history, and personal goals. Your personalized treatment plan will be created after consultations with multiple physicians within our multidisciplinary team and may include a combination of one or more of the following treatment options.

Clinical Trials

Fox Chase Cancer Center actively participates in a number of clinical trials for patients with GIST. In addition to receiving excellent care, our patients also benefit from the groundbreaking research that we do to expand our understanding of new GIST therapies and treatments. We encourage eligible patients to participate in clinical trials that are available and appropriate for their stage and type of GIST.

Systemic Therapy

The medical oncologists at Fox Chase Cancer Center are international leaders in the treatment of GIST. As part of the multidisciplinary team, your medical oncologist will help to determine your personalized treatment plan, which may include systemic therapies such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy, either as standard of care or as part of a clinical trial. Systemic therapy may be given before or after surgery and may also be recommended to patients who are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer).


Fox Chase surgical oncologists use a variety of approaches to address GIST. Surgery is also used for symptom management and pain control. Surgery for GIST can be complex and requires the expertise of surgeons trained in the removal of these tumors. In GIST surgery, like many other types of abdominal surgery, a patient's first operation has the best chance of controlling the disease.


The radiation oncologists at Fox Chase specialize in treating GIST using the latest radiation therapies. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and may be given in combination with chemotherapy if you are unable to tolerate surgery or in combination with chemotherapy and surgery for patients with invasive GISTs.