Clinical studies have indicated that the NV (nanovesicle) concentration in blood samples is a potential indicator of clinical status and can be used to follow the development of the disease. For 32 months, we monitored the effect of imatinib treatment on NV concentrations in blood samples from 12 patients with GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumour). The NV concentration before the treatment increased with respect to control by a factor of 3.5 on average (range 2.6–9.2). The first week after initiation of the treatment, the NV concentration increased considerably, by a factor of 13 on average (range 5.9–21.2), whereas on average, after 1 month, it decreased to the level of the control and remained at that level for at least 1.5 years. Recent assessment (after 2.5 years) showed a somewhat increased NV concentration, by a factor of 2 on average (range 0.7–3.9). Low NV concentrations in blood samples during the treatment reflect a favourable effect of imatinib in these patients and no remission of the disease was hitherto observed.

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