April 21th, 2017. The results of the GISTAR pilot study are presented at the International Gastric Cancer Congress (IGCC 2017) in Beijing, China, gathering over 5000 participants from all over the world.

April 10th, 2017. The first week of the GISTAR Regional center in Rezekne has been very successful. The official opening event had been held on Friday, 7th of April. Opening was attended by the head of the GISTAR, Professor of University of Latvia Mārcis Leja, the Chairman of the council of Rezekne Aleksandrs Bartaševičs, representatives form Latgale's Regional Television, and newspaper "Rēzeknes Vēstis". M.Leja discussed on the further cooperation with A.Bartaševičs. The process of the study was presented to participants of the meeting by research koordinator Aiga Rūdule.


To see videos press here:
LTV 1 Dienas ziņas 18.04.2017.

Latgales Reģionālā TV 18.04.2017.

April 4th, 2017. We are glad to announce The GISTAR Regional center in Rezekne has started its work yesterday, on the 3rd of April. On its first working day the center was visited by the first respondents.

In the picture: The receptionist of the research center is interviewing respondent.


In the picture: The employee of the research center is preparing blood samples for further storage.

March 21th, 2017. After the successful training courses, work is ready to start The GISTAR Regional center in Rezekne. The future employees were undergoing tuition. Within this tuition the new team was getting acquainted with the research protocol and questionnaire. They were also familiarizing themselves with the laboratory tasks.

March 3rd, 2017. On the 2-3rd of March, at the 43rd Scientific Session of CSRIG conference "From tradition to innovation", professor M. Leja has reported on screening options in colorectal and gastric cancer. The conference took place in Moscow, and was  dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Gastroenterology. Lecturer participated as well in the discussion on the eradication of H. pylori and informed about GISTAR study progress.

More information: www.gastrosession.ru

See photos at: http://гастросессия.рф/foto-gastrosessii-2017

February 28th, 2017. The regional research center of Dobele has concluded its work. During the period from September 1st 2016 till February  28th 2017, 529 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study.  The preparatory work for the new study center in Rezekne and the tuition for the personnel in Riga is taking place at this very moment.

January 27, 2017. Aiga Rudule visited Rezekne in order to discuss  the GISTAR realization possibilities with the heads of Rezekne Hospital.

January 25, 2017.The protocol about the economical and scientific cooperation between Latvia and Belarus was signed during the 12th Intergovernmental commission meeting.
The research development in the oncological field with the aim to decrease the mortality from malignant diseases was emphasized in the chapter of the protocol about cooperation in science and technologies. The collaboration in cancer screening was also underlined.

The GISTAR Project, implemented by the University of Latvia under the supervision of the International Agency for Research (IARC) on Cancer, provides a great scope of opportunities for both sides to develop the infrastructure for cancer prevention.

January 19, 2017. For today altogether 4500 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study! Recruitment is continuing.

January 18, 2017. As part of further planning GISTAR study, meetings were held with representatives of Madona City Council and representatives of Madona Hospital.

Active negotiations are continuing on the implementation GISTAR study with representatives of Rezekne City Council and representatives of Rezekne hospital management.

January 10-11, 2017. Group of scientists from Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine together with partners from Latvian Biomedicine Study and Research centre visited Karolinska Institute. The aim of this visit was to get acquainted with Microbiome Translational Research Centre recently established at Karolinska Institute and led by Professor Lars Engstrand. CTMR aims to better understand the contribution of the human microbiome to physiology and pathophysiology with the goal to open opportunities for development of novel therapies in the area of gastroenterology, reproductive health and neonatology. As CTMR has gathered substantial experience and knowledge on analysing human gut microbiome, continuation of collaboration based on population samples obtained within the GISTAR study would generate better understanding on human-microorganism interaction in health and development of disease.

December 20, 2016. For the second month in a row the recruitment of respondents is taking place in the cities of Almaty and Semey. 87 respondents have been recruited for the GISTAR pilot study thanks to the cooperation partners from the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology (Almaty), Regional Diagnostic Center (Almaty) and Regional Oncological Dispansary (Semey).

December 15, 2016. The regional research center of Tukums has concluded its work. During the period from March 14th till December 15th, 647 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study. The recruitment of respondents continues in the regional center of Dobele until February next year. In parallel to that, the GISTAR team is planning on to expand the project to Latgale, and  the communication with representatives of the Rezekne Municipality in regards to the further research realization options is actively taking place at this very moment.

November 8, 2016. The procedure for signing the Memorandum of Cooperation between the University of Latvia and Almaty Health Care Services Department took place. On behalf of the Almaty Health Care Services Department the Memorandum was signed by the deputy head Gulnara Utepberhenova Kulkaeva. The director of the Almaty Regional Diagnostic center on the basis of which the GISTAR regional pilot study is conducted Almas Turdybekovich Umbetbaev and collegues from the University of Latvia – Aiga Rudule and Ilze Kikuste were present during the singning procedure.

November 7-18, 2016. The GISTAR team consisting of Aiga Rudule and Ilze Kikuste headed to Kazakhstan to organize the tuition for cooperation partners for the realization of the GISTAR regional pilot study. The tuition will take place in Almaty till November 12 in the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology and in the Diagnostic centre. From November 13 the tuition will be held in the Regional Oncological Dispensary of Semey.

October 26-27, 2016. EuroNanoMed Training and 4th Review Seminar for funded projects within the EuroNanoMed 2 program was taking place in Berlin. The project coordinators or their representatives were reporting the results of their projects. Several projects involving Latvian partnership have been mentioned during the meeting – those were involving researchers from Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre and Riga Technical University.

However, particular attention was paid to the VOLGACORE project; the objective of which is development and validation of a novel, non‐invasive, easy to use and low‐cost tool for screening, early detection of gastric and colorectal cancers by using a nanosensor technology for breath analysis.

The results of the VOLGACORE project were reported by Professor of University of Latvia – M.Leja. The experts from the European Commission were eluding the project as a success story of ERA-NET program. In Israel, the research activities related to the project have been included to the list of 10 most promising research projects in the country. A poster of recognition has been exposed in the airport of Tel-Aviv.

September 9, 2016. The foundation of the Eurasian Oncological Institute (NGO) has been supported by the GISTAR research group. It is expected that in the future this Institute will conduct the GISTAR study in the Central Asian States.

September 1, 2016. After the successful training courses, the new centre in Dobele is now fully operational with 4 new respondents.


On 25th and 26th August an international GISTAR study meeting took place in University of Latvia. During the meeting, researchers of University of Latvia gave presentations on GISTAR study. Also together with international partners from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kirghizstan and Kazakhstan future collaboration possibilities regarding realization of study in other countries were discussed. To introduce themselves with the study process, on 26th of August meeting participants also visited GISTAR regional centre in Tukums, Academic Histology laboratory and Digestive diseases centre “GASTRO”.

August 26, 2016. Memorandum of Cooperation got signed between the University of Latvia (represented by Professor Valdis Segliņš) and a NGO from Kazakhstan  «Central Asian Cancer Institute» (represented by the chairman Nurbek Igissinov).

The fields of collaboration of the Memorandum included the following: development of international contacts between Kazakhstan and Latvia, cooperation in research, including for the GISTAR project, collaborative development of innovation projects as well as facilitation of collaborative publications.

This is expected that the Memorandum is going to facilitate the collaboration between the University of Latvia and Universities and research organizations in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.


August 25-26, 2016 the University of Latvia will be hosting an international Gastric Cancer Prevention Working Group meeting. The meeting is organized in collaboration to International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study group (EHMSG), Healthy Stomach Initiative (HSI) as well as several Universities and research institutions abroad. The local collaborators include Riga East University hospital, Digestive Diseases Centre GASTRO and Academic Histology laboratory. Guests from Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are expected. The meeting is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), grant from the University of Latvia as well as Sniffphone project (H2020).

August 17, 2016. University of Latvia is planning to recruit post-doctoral students for research related to the GISTAR study. The candidates will be chosen based on competition basis. For further information please visit http://training.iarc.fr/

August 16, 2016. The future employees of the regional GISTAR centre in Dobele are undergoing tuition. Within this tuition the new team is getting acquainted with the research protocol and questionnaire. They are also familiarizing themselves with the laboratory tasks.

July 22, 2016 following the invitation from the Rector of Vitebsk State Medical University (Belarus), Professor Shchastniy Anatoliy Tadeushevich, M. Leja has been visiting the University. During the meeting M. Leja handed over to the hosts collaborative agreement between the Universities, on behalf of University of Latvia having been signed by the Rector, professor Indriķis Muižnieks. The main objective of the meeting was planning the pilot study of GISTAR in Belarus. The principal investigator in Belarus Sergej Pimanov and the Consul of Latvia in Vitebsk Uģis Skuja were participating.

June 28-29, 2016 a meeting in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France was organized. The progress of the GISTAR as well as organization of Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) were discussed. In addition, further organization of international pilot studies was also discussed. I. Poļaka was appointed as the responsible statistician of the GISTAR study.

June 22, 2016 a lecture on gastric cancer screening that was including also information on the GISTAR study was delivered during the Cancer screening conference, in Saint-Petersburg within the White Nights Forum in oncology. Possibilities to extend the study to Russia and Kazakhstan were also discussed.


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