Purpose. This retrospective, nonrandomized study investigated the effect of imatinib rechallenge plus best supportive care (BSC) on overall survival after imatinib and sunitinib treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Methods. Twenty-six patients who had previously been exposed to both imatinib and sunitinib were enrolled in this study. The treatment regimen was BSC with or without imatinib, based on the patient's choice after discussion with his or her physician. The primary endpoint was overall survival, and secondary endpoints were time to treatment failure, clinical response rate assessed by Choi criteria, and safety. Results. Fourteen patients were treated with imatinib plus BSC and 12 received BSC alone. Median overall survival was greatly improved for the imatinib group, although differences were not significant (22 months for imatinib plus BSC versus 4 months for BSC; P=0.058). Three patients (21%) had a clinical response in the imatinib group, and one had a clinical response in the BSC alone group. Imatinib was well tolerated. Conclusions. Rechallenge with imatinib may be associated with improvement in overall survival without deteriorating performance status in patients who failed imatinib and sunitinib. A prospective study should be considered to confirm the efficacy of rechallenge with imatinib.
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