The term "neo-adjuvant therapy" (from the Latin adjuvare, meaning to help) refers to therapy that is carried out before the operation (= resection) of a tumor. A neo-adjuvant therapy can generally be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or treatment using pre-operative targeted therapy. The goal of neo-adjuvant therapy is make the resection of a tumor as easy as possible (e.g. by reducing its size) or to reduce the operation’s scope to a minimum. It’s also referred to "downstaging" a tumour disease.
Palliative treatment is the medical term for treatment that makes a disease easier to bear, in contrast to healing it.
Adjuvant treatment is a kind of "preventative therapy": After the complete removal of a tumor, adjuvant treatment is given as prophylaxis against recurrences. It aims to treat so called micro metastases that may be present but not yet visible, and therefore lower the risk of a recurrence. Adjuvant therapy is usually recommended for sarcoma patients, whose risk of recurrence – despite a successful operation – remains high.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) affects the digestive tract or nearby structures within the abdomen. The most common location is the stomach. GI stromal tumor, or GIST cancer, is a sarcoma.