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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Gastric cancer research efforts in the Baltic States: The GISTAR study - Mārcis Leja, M.D., Ph.D.

DCEG Seminar


Mārcis Leja, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Latvia;
Head, Department of Research, Riga East University Hospital;
Member, European Helicobacter Study Group;
Member, Healthy Stomach Initiative; Advisory Council Member;
European Society for Digestive Oncology Research Council Member; and  
Eurasian Federation of Oncology Fellow, American Association of Gastroenterology


East Europe, including the Baltic States, has among the highest gastric cancer incidence rates in the world. Endoscopy-based screening and eradication of Helicobacter pylori in the general population are not currently advised because the cost of programs and potential adverse effects outweigh the modest effect on incidence reduction. Dr. Leja will present the study design and progress of the GISTAR project, an ongoing demonstration randomized trial of H. pylori eradication for prevention of gastric cancer in Latvia, with potential extension to Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. Dr. Leja will also discuss the potential use of pepsinogens, volatile markers and autoantibodies in gastric cancer detection.


Allan Hildesheim, Ph.D., Chief and Senior Investigator,
Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch,
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute