GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor) is an uncommon type of sarcoma found in the tissues supporting the digestive system (stomach and intestines). Approximately one percent of all gastrointestinal cancers are GISTs. The digital calculator predicts the risk for GIST recurrence based on tumor size, mitotic count, tumor site and rupture.
"Providing the patient with a reliable estimation of recurrence is faster with the digital calculator. Expensive drugs that can also have side-effects can thus be targeted to the high-risk patients who are not likely to be cured by surgery alone. The risk estimation should be examined together with the patient in order to guarantee that the patient understands the reasons behind treatment decisions", explains Heikki Joensuu, Professor of Oncology at the University of Helsinki, and the Research Director at the Helsinki Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Risk estimations based on a uniquely large sample and accurate modelling
The GIST Risk calculator is based on research conducted by Prof. Heikki Joensuu and his co-workers where an international sample of 2000 diagnosed GIST patients were analyzed with the help of a mathematical model designed by Prof. Aki Vehtari of Aalto University.
"The nonlinear mathematic model predicts the combined effect of the main prognostic factors more accurately than any known model before. However, it is important to note that the historical data is solely comprised of patients that were treated via surgery only, and that new targeted therapy drugs have reduced the risk of recurrence. The prognostic contour maps resulting from non-linear modelling have been widely accepted by doctors, but digital calculator significantly improves the usability of the maps", informs Aki Vehtari, Professor at the Aalto University.
"GIST Risk calculator is a great example of how preventive cancer care can be further developed by using modern technology to analyze health data, and proof of the improved results that can be achieved through cooperation of startups, hospitals and universities", states Lauri Sippola, CEO of Netmedi.
The GIST Risk Calculator is accessible online for all cancer care and research professionals.