New gastrointestinal stromal tumors fund opens

The PAN Foundation today opened a new financial assistance program for people living with gastrointestinal stromal tumors, providing up to $4,200 per year for eligible patients.    

A gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissue of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly in the stomach or small intestine. Genetic factors can increase the risk of having GIST and, in rare cases, can be found in several members of the same family. Signs and symptoms of GIST include but are not limited to blood in the stool or vomit, pain in the abdomen, feeling tired, trouble or pain when swallowing, and feeling full after only eating a little food.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 people living in the U.S. are diagnosed with GIST. Certain factors affect one’s chance of recovery and treatment options for GIST, including how quickly the cells are growing and dividing, the size of the tumor, where the tumor is in the body, whether the tumor can be removed by surgery, and if the tumor has spread to other parts of the body. There are different types of treatment for GIST, including surgery, targeted therapy, watchful waiting, and supportive care. In addition, new types of treatments are being tested in clinical trials.

“Thanks to the generous contributions of our donors, we’re excited to provide support once again to those living with gastrointestinal stromal tumors,” said PAN President and CEO Kevin L. Hagan. “These patients are facing a potentially life-threatening disease that requires access to medications and treatments with expensive out-of-pocket costs. We hope this financial assistance will help those affected focus on improving their quality of life rather than the cost of their care.” 

Patients who qualify are eligible to receive $4,200 per year in financial assistance to pay for the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs associated with their treatment for GIST. 

Eligibility requirements  

To get financial assistance for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, patients must:    

  • Be receiving treatment for GIST.  
  • Have Medicare health insurance that covers the qualifying medication or product.   
  • Have an income that falls at or below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.   

How to apply  

Patients or caregivers applying on their behalf can apply for assistance using the PAN Foundation’s online patient portal. To apply on behalf of a patient, providers can use the provider portal, while pharmacists can use the pharmacy portal.  A series of how-to guides are also available for the patient portal, including common tasks like creating an account and applying for assistance online.

Other patient support services at PAN 

Transportation assistance 

PAN grant recipients may also qualify for transportation assistance to allow them to get to and from activities that improve their overall health outcomes, including healthcare services, social connection and support, and healthy and nutritious food. Check your eligibility to learn more. 

Connect with a patient support organization 

PAN recognizes that people with serious health conditions—and their families and caregivers—need support beyond financial assistance. That’s why we partner with more than 20 leading patient advocacy groups to connect people to communities that can offer support with the complex physical, emotional, and practical realities of life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases.  Learn more about our partners.

About the PAN Foundation  
The PAN Foundation is an independent, national 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping federally and commercially insured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases with the out-of-pocket costs for their prescribed medications.   

Since 2004, we have provided nearly 1 million underinsured patients with $4 billion in financial assistance. Partnering with generous donors, healthcare providers, and pharmacies, we provide the underinsured population access to the healthcare treatments they need to best manage their conditions and focus on improving their quality of life. Learn more at