For currently open trials using nilotinib (Tasigna) for GIST, see this list
For details about nilotinib (Tasigna) at the GIST Support International website see 
Tasigna can be prescribed off-label for GIST sinceit is approved for CML, but thee are not too many results yet to indicate how effective it may be for GIST.
MEMBER QUESTION: It is my understanding that Tasigna has been shown to work on 15% of GIST patients, and that Gleevec works for a time on 85%
The patent on Gleevec runs out in 2015. It is likely (and understandable in a profit driven system) that the company will have increased research on the newer drug that is still under patent. I am unclear, however, how NEOadjuvant Gleevec versus NEOadjuvant Tasigna might differ...
I've changed my mind a bit about this trial...it appears to be a vehicle to get tumor tissue that has been exposed for the short term to tasigna, to examine it for apoptosis. In that regard, there is merit in my mind.
Still, I think the best question any front is how Tasigna differs from Gleevec, and so a three arm trial of apoptosis from neoadjuvant Gleevec vs apoptosis from neoadjuvant Tasigna vs apoptosis from no treatment would seem to be the best for my world view.
I see what you mean, that the two trial arms have the same description. I don't understand that either.
I suppose there will come a day in the long term future when we'll be asking "adjuvant tasigna?" "neoadjuvant tasigna?" and I think the cost differences weighed against versus efficacy differences of the two drugs matters in a non-resistant, non-lifethreatening setting.
There are not many data available yet on Tasigna, and what there are would be from patients already resistant to Gleevec and Sutent. Therefore, it is not yet known how well it will work as first-line therapy. In wildtype GIST patients it has worked for several people who had no luck with Gleevec and Sutent. We will all be waiting to see the results of the currently ongoing Tasigna trials.
I am finishing up my first year taking Tasigna on trial. My experience has been good, one met shrank and the other is stable. Side effects for me are skin rash and tearing eyes, both of which are entirely manageable.