Glossary of Terms for KIT+ GIST
Adjuvant treatment: Treatment used in addition to the main treatment. For the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), it refers to therapy added after surgery.
Anemia: Low levels of red blood cells, which can cause symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, feeling light-headed, and even chest pain.
Apoptosis: The body's normal way of getting rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called programmed cell death.
Benign: Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant.
Cell proliferation: An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.
Computed tomography (CT) scan: A common scan your doctor will use to measure the size and location of your tumors.
Enzyme: A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST): Rare tumors in the GI tract. The majority of these tumors start in the stomach or small intestine.
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract: Where food is processed for energy and solid waste is removed; includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
Imaging: Scans that allow your doctors to take pictures of your KIT+ GIST tumors and evaluate your response to GLEEVEC®. Three common types of imaging are CT, MRI, and PET scans.
Localized: Restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread.
Malignant: Cancerous. Malignant cells can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
KIT: A protein that tells cells to grow and divide as needed.
KIT–positive (KIT+) GIST: A cancerous gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) that occurs when a protein called KIT becomes abnormal (or mutated).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan: An MRI uses radio waves and strong magnets to create detailed scans of the body to help determine if tumors have spread or returned.
Metastatic: A term used to describe a tumor that has spread from the primary site (place where it started) to other places in the body.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: This scan is helpful for identifying whether or not tumor cells have spread, and evaluate if treatment is working.
Protein: An essential component of all living cells.
Recurrence: The return of cancer after treatment.
Response: A measure of how well medication is working to treat your condition.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitor: A drug that interferes with cell communication and growth and may prevent tumor growth.