Treatment Type and Cognitive Impairment in GIST

November 16, 2018
Anette Duensing, MD

During the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Anette Duensing, MD, assistant professor of pathology at University of Pittsburgh, discusses the need for further investigation into how treatment type impacts perceived cognitive function in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

During the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Anette Duensing, MD, assistant professor of pathology at University of Pittsburgh, discussed her work on a large, web-based survey of perceived cognitive impairments in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

The survey found that, among 485 respondents, nearly two-thirds reported cognitive impairments that had impacted their quality of life. These impairments tended not to correlate with factors including fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, or emotional distress, suggesting a need for more research.

Among the hypotheses in the study were that long-term treatment with TKI therapy could negatively impact cognitive function. Dr. Duensing discusses the need for further investigation into the potential impact on cognitive function among different treatment types, such as TKI inhibitors—like imatinib (Gleevec)—versus monoclonal antibodies—like olaratumab (Lartruvo) —in this context.