Treatment with ripretinib may preserve quality of life in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), according to a study recently published in BMC Cancer.

“In conclusion, patient reported outcome assessments in the INVICTUS trial demonstrate that patients with advanced GIST on fourth-line or greater therapy maintain quality of life and function while receiving ripretinib out to C2D1 compared with patients receiving placebo,” the authors wrote.

This experimental study included 129 patients previously diagnosed with GIST. Of them, 85 participants received ripretinib 150 mg daily, while the remaining 44 received a placebo. However, patients in the placebo group that showcased disease progression or unacceptable toxicity were able to cross over to the ripretinib group.

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The researchers used the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the EuroQoL 5-Dimension 5-Level (EQ-5D-5 L PRO) to assess the quality of life among both groups during different time points of the treatment.

Patients who underwent treatment with ripretinib were able to maintain a similar score on both the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EQ-5D-5 L PRO when comparing the baseline to day 1 of the second cycle of follow-up care. Individuals in the placebo group exhibited a decline in their quality of life, as evidenced by both questionnaires.

Alopecia was the most frequent adverse event related to treatment with ripretinib, and regardless, this sign did not seem to affect the patient’s quality of life. Individuals in cycle 10, day 1, who experienced alopecia ranked similarly in the quality of life assessments than those without it.

“When stratified by alopecia, patient-reported function, overall health, and overall quality of life were generally stable; because patients had already progressed on other therapies and were at risk of fatal progression, perhaps alopecia was not as important to these patients,” the authors explained.

These findings highlight the benefits of this drug in patients with GIST, as the quality of life is preserved for at least 8 months of treatment, even past the median progression-free survival of 6.3 months.

This study took part in an international, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 clinical trial named INVICTUS.


Schöffski P, George S, Heinrich M. Patient-reported outcomes in individuals with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor treated with ripretinib in the fourth-line setting: analysis from the phase 3 INVICTUS trial. BMC Cancer. Published online December 13, 2022. doi:10.1186/s12885-022-10379-9