2017-05-18 14:34:17 UTC

More Research is Needed to Improve the State of Gastric Cancer

May 18, 2017

AGA hosted a summit to discuss the state of the science in gastroesophageal cancers.

AGA was pleased to host the Gastric Cancer Research Summit with Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer, which brought together leaders in the field of gastroesophageal cancer and National Cancer Institute to examine the current state of the science in 2017 and begin developing a roadmap for the future of research in this field. A multi-stakeholder group, including gastroenterologists, pathologists, oncologists and patient advocates, was in attendance.

During the meeting, led by Timothy Wang, MD, AGAF, past-president, AGA Institute, and Debbie Zelman, Esq., founder of Debbie’s Dream Foundation, basic, translational and clinical science researchers discussed:

  • New genomic findings.
  • Progress being made in the prevention and treatment of gastroesophageal cancer, including advances in immunotherapy and screening technologies.
  • Adequacy of current research models.
  • How to address unmet needs of the diseases in both the clinic and the laboratory. 

There are about 45,000 new cases and more than 27,000 deaths per year from gastroesophageal cancer. With a five-year survival rate of 30 percent, gastric cancer is included in the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012, which defines recalcitrant cancer as one with a five-year relative survival rate of below 50 percent. Research on gastric cancer is less advanced than that of many other cancers, and the lack of research funding makes it difficult to attract researchers to the field and make progress toward curative treatments. 

AGA is at the forefront of gastric cancer research and offers an AGA–R. Robert and Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer for which applications will be due on Aug. 4, 2017. Additionally, the AGA 2016 James W. Freston Conference: Intestinal Metaplasia in the Esophagus and Stomach — Origins, Differences, Similarities and Significance sparked lively debate among attendees and experts in the field.

We thank the following meeting participants (pictured above) for contributing:

  • Jaffer Ajani, MD
  • Adam Bass, MD
  • Jordan Berlin, MD
  • Phillip Daschner, Program Director, National Cancer Institute
  • Kristin Fitzgerald
  • James Fox, DVM 
  • Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD
  • Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD
  • Rick Peek, MD 
  • Antonia Sepulveda, MD, PhD 
  • Kenneth Wang, MD 
  • Timothy Wang, MD
  • Keith Wilson, MD 
  • Debbie Zelman, Esq.

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