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Foundation Funds New Research Studies
Dr. Hanlee Ji
Two new research grants were recently awarded to the Ji Research Group at Stanford's Genome Technology Center. This funding continues the Foundation’s approach of strategically putting resources to work supporting innovative studies that can lead to the development of new treatments:

Discovery of Drug Resistance Mechanism in Metastatic Gastric Cancer

$30,000 was granted to determine if a newly discovered drug combination can improve the treatment of patients who have metastatic gastric cancers with the FGFR2 defect. 

Some gastric cancers are distinguished by defects in fibroblast growth factor receptor genes known as FGFR2. These patients can be treated with drugs that inhibit these genes; however, over time, these tumors can outsmart the drugs and become resistant to treatment. Researchers on the Ji Lab team searched for the reason why this occurs. Their investigations revealed the identities of the molecules and pathways involved in this specific type of drug resistance in gastric cancer. Read the publication of their findings here. Based on these findings, the team discovered a new way to overcome resistance to FGFR-targeted therapy using a drug combination. 

Gastric Cancer Foundation has granted funds to initiate the required next step -- a preclinical trial using a mouse model to test the drug combination treatment and determine if this study can be conducted in a clinical trial involving patients with gastric cancer.
 

Understanding Gastric Cancer at the Single Cell Level 

$38,500 was awarded to investigate gastric cancer at the cellular level, with a goal of identifying new drug targets. 

Gastric cancers are made up of many different cell types, and they are surrounded by normal stomach and immune cells. Gastric cancers have developed ways of exploiting these normal cells to facilitate cancer growth. Understanding how this tumor microenvironment functions has large implications for knowing how to precisely treat a tumor. 

The research team has developed a new approach, called single cell genomics, to determine how gastric cancer cells control the normal tissue and suppress the patient’s own immune system. By using single cell genomic sequencing to analyze the DNA and RNA from individual cells in the gastric tumor microenvironment, researchers plan to elucidate the interactions occurring that allow cancer to proliferate. The team will use this powerful new approach to analyze primary gastric cancers from metastatic patients, in order to identify new drug targets.
The Power of Probiotics
Welcome back to the Gesundheit Kitchen - or should we say forest! Foundation board member and "Chef without a Stomach," Hans Rueffert speaks again with Dietitian Ellen Steinberg about the science behind probiotics and prebiotics. Special thanks to Merck & Company, Inc. for supporting this video series through an educational grant. Find more episodes at the Gesundheit Kitchen on gastriccancer.org.
Save The Date:
A CAUSE FOR HOPE
Our 10th Anniversary Milestone Celebration
Saturday, November 16th
Peninsula Golf & Country Club
San Mateo, California
Join us at our 10th Anniversary Event. We will reflect on how far the Gastric Cancer Foundation has come over the last decade - and look forward to the next decade of progress! Stay tuned for more information by following social media and checking our website's events page.
A Strong Response to Gastric Cancer Registry Enrollment
Researchers at the Gastric Cancer Registry, led by Dr. Hanlee Ji
Thank you to the many patients and family members who responded to our recent call for increased enrollment in the Registry. Your participation is making a truly unique and valuable contribution to the search for a cure. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Hanlee Ji and his remarkable team of researchers, the Registry is advancing the understanding of gastric cancer, including both environmental and genetic factors.

If you haven't yet enrolled, we encourage you to join today. The process is easy. Visit gcregistry.stanford.edu to get started. 

If you are enrolled and want to update your family medical history with any significant changes, you can contact the registry directly at aalmeda@stanford.edu.
Research Roundup
There has been a lot of exciting news in gastric cancer research over the last few months. Here are a few highlights:

Taiho Oncology and partner Servier presented four studies from ongoing clinical trials of its newly approved gastric cancer drug, Lonsurf, at the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. The data showed consistent safety and efficacy in several subgroups of patients with metastatic gastric and gastroesophageal cancer, including people over age 65 with kidney impairment. 

A new study concluded that a reduced dosage of chemotherapy yielded similar survival benefits as a larger dose but much better quality of life in older people with advanced gastric cancer. The study was also presented at ASCO.

A phase 3 trial in patients with stage 3 gastric cancer showed that adding docetaxel to oral fluoropyrimidine after surgery improves efficacy.
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