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A Message from Our Board Chair
Friends,

As everyone grapples with the global pandemic, we understand that gastric cancer patients have had to face even greater difficulties and fears. Cancer hasn’t taken a pause, and I want you to know that we haven’t either. The Gastric Cancer Foundation has continued to be driven by our passion to improve outcomes for patients and families.

While sheltered at home, our work continued. I am proud to report that we initiated a new research grant process and are currently reviewing applications from some of the world’s leading institutions. We announced the third recipient of the AGA-GCF Ben Feinstein Research Scholar Award who will use his 3-year grant to conduct important new investigations. Our online resources, including the Patient & Family Online Community and our free Clinial Trial Navigator service remained active and available to provide assistance. And Hans Rueffert - our very own “Chef Without A Stomach” - expanded our regular Gesundheit Kitchen nutrition series to include weekly livestream sessions throughout April to provide community connections and guidance from his kitchen to all of ours.

Thank you to the many individuals and national sponsors who have made it possible for us to do this important work under difficult circumstances. If you are in a position to make a donation – large or small – to support our work, it would be especially meaningful now. TOGETHER, we will defeat gastric cancer.
Meet Our New Research Scholar: Samuel J. Klempner
Samuel J. Klempner, M.D., was completing his fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston when he first became interested in studying the process by which gastric cancer spreads to the peritoneum—the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. Now he’ll be able to take a major step towards solving that mystery, having recently been chosen as the recipient of a $300,000 research grant from the Gastric Cancer Foundation and the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA).

“One of the biggest knowledge gaps in gastric cancer is the peritoneum,” says Klempner, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. “This funding will allow us to generate preliminary data and take it to the next step,” potentially identifying new therapeutic vulnerabilities to exploit in the mission to help improve the prognosis for patients with metastatic gastric cancer.

The AGA–Gastric Cancer Foundation Ben Feinstein Memorial Research Scholar Award in Gastric Cancer provides $100,000 per year for three years to young scientists working towards careers in gastric and esophageal cancer research. Klempner is the third recipient of the award.
The AGA-Gastric Cancer Foundation Ben Feinstein Memorial Research Scholar Award supports the vital work of young scientists who are investigating the pathobiology of gastric cancer and new treatment possibilities for patients. The award honors the memory of Ben Feinstein, son of Wayne and Leslee Feinstein, who lost his two-year battle with gastric cancer at the age of 20. Learn more about the work of these extraordinary investigators here.
The Gesundheit Kitchen Presents:
Episode 19: "O-M-Ghee, Leftovers!"
Foundation board member and "Chef without a Stomach" Hans Rueffert is an expert at turning leftovers into culinary delights! In this episode, Hans shares the delicious benefits of cooking with ghee - clarified butter that is lower in lactose and casein. Have you tried one of Han's recipes? Share it with us! Need more inspiration? Find more episodes at the Gesundheit Kitchen on gastriccancer.org.
The Gesundheit Kitchen is a nutrition series produced by the Gastric Cancer Foundation, featuring board member and “Chef without a Stomach” Hans Rueffert. Chef Hans and other experts share nutritional tips and tasty meals that anyone can enjoy - with or without a stomach.
Research Roundup
The pandemic hasn’t interrupted research aimed at preventing, treating and curing gastric cancer. Here are some exciting recent advances in gastric cancer research:

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for Enhertu in patients with HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, based on data showing the drug improved responses and overall survival as compared to chemotherapy in clinical trials.

A study by MD Anderson found that tumors with DNA mismatch repair, a genetic abnormality that’s common in gastric tumors, responded to a combination therapy consisting of an investigational drug that induces cell death and a PD-1 blocker.

At ASCO, Adaptimmune Therapeutics reported that two patients with esophagogastric junction cancer responded well in a trial of SPEAR-T cell therapy, an investigational cell therapy targeting MAGE-A4, a cancer-driving protein.
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Be informed. Know what’s available and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial is a good choice for you. 
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