July 22, 2021. The number of participants in the GISTAR study has reached 10 000

We are pleased to announce that today the number of participants in the GISTAR study has reached 10 000, and currently the number of participants in the research center in Kuldiga has reached 300 people. We would like to thank the participants who have already participated in our research, as well as we are waiting for new people who want to participate in the GISTAR study in Kuldiga. The GISTAR study is carried out for the early diagnosis of digestive diseases, where the population aged 40-64 has the opportunity to perform free examinations for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. 



* The operation of the GISTAR Kuldīga Center is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program in accordance with grant agreement no. 824986 within the VOGAS project.
**The work is funded by FLPP (Fundamental and Applied Research Projects) Program. Program is implemented by Latvian Council of Science, project No. lzp-2018/1-0135 "Research on implementation of a set of measures for prevention of gastric cancer mortality by eradication H. pylori and timely recognition of precancerous lesions".

July 12, 2021. A new project HYCOR is launched

The Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine of the University of Latvia in cooperation with Liepaja regional hospital is starting to implement a new project "Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening (HYCOR)". The project aim is to promote breath volatile marker concept for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening by advancing developing the application of a novel hybrid analyzer for the purpose. 

The scientific results of the current project will provide new knowledge on the potential application of the hybrid breath analyzer for CRC screening. Although currently screening programs do exist in most of the European Union (EU) countries, the tests that are used at present are still far from the ideal. The project obtained results would be important for clinical practice both in Latvia and globally – in countries with an average or high burden of CRC.

More information about the project

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The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) project "Practical Studies", 4th phase, project ID Nr.

June 2, 2021. The inclusion of respondents in the GISTAR survey in the Kuldiga Regional Center continues for the second month.
We are proud to announce that the first 100 respondents are already included in the center of Kuldiga!
A total of 9,807 respondents are already included in the study.

Patients continue to be included in the study.

May 21, 2021. The First Moscow Oncology Forum (2021) took place in Moscow, Russia, on May 17-22.
M.Leja spoke at the forum with a report on the Europe’s Beating Cancer plan and the recommendations of the European Commission's Cancer Mission Council, at the same time informing the audience about the progress of the GISTAR study.


May 11, 2021. With the support of Kuldiga City Municipality, the Kuldiga Regional Center of the GISTAR study started working yesterday, May 10. During the first two working days, the first seven respondents visited the research center. In total, 9,708 respondents are already included in the study.


May 6, 2021. Today in Kuldiga trainings are taking place for future employees of GISTAR Kuldiga Regional Center. Training is organized according to epidemiological requirements both on-site and remotely. During the training, the new team is introduced to the research website, data usage and security rules, as well as the GISTAR data management system. Our staff introduces future employees to the design of the GISTAR study, its goals and objectives, tells about cooperation with family doctors and specialists at the local level.


April 16, 2021. In May of this year, the digestive disease prevention study GISTAR will start operating in the city of Kuldiga.
The selection of staff for the next research center has now been completed. And the agreements with Kuldiga City Council are being actively coordinated. Preparations are also underway for the launch of the new research center.

So far, the survey has been conducted in Cēsis, Alūksne, Ludza, Dobele, Saldus, Tukums, Madona, Rēzekne and Jēkabpils, and more than 9,702 respondents have already been involved in the survey.

Currently, the research in Kuldiga is planned for 1 year until the end of the year 2021.

January 15, 2021. The launch of the new GISTAR research center in Kuldīga is planned, but currently, subject to emergency regulations, the opening of the new research center is slightly postponed, but as soon as the restrictions are lifted, the new center will definitely start operating. 

In turn, the control of patient eradication efficiency continues in the Jekabpils GISTAR regional center.

November 11, 2020. Aiga Rūdule, the administrative manager of the GISTAR study, is visiting Kuldīga Hospital to select the next employees of the Kuldīga Research Center.
The premises of the next research center are viewed and the organizational details are discussed with the hospital representatives.

November 4, 2020. The inclusion of respondents in the GISTAR research Jēkabpils regional center has been completed. In total, the center included 1,386 respondents between September 2, 2019 and October 30, 2020. The administrative manager of the research Aiga Rūdule thanked the employees of Jēkabpils Research Center for the work done, as well as the representatives of Jēkabpils Regional Hospital for their support in the implementation of the research.

In Latvia, the GISTAR study was launched in October 2013 in Cēsis, and so far it has also taken place in such Latvian cities as Alūksne, Ludza, Saldus, Tukums, Dobele, Madona and Rēzekne.

We can also be proud to note that since the start of the study in 2013, as of the end of October this year, 9,702 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study.

The GISTAR team is planning to expand the research in other Latvian municipalities and is already actively working on the organization of the next research center in Kuldiga, which will start operating at the beginning of next year.

October 26, 2020. At the beginning of next year, the digestive disease prevention study GISTAR will start operating at Kuldiga Regional Hospital.

In anticipation of this event, Skrunda Television has created a story about the research as such, as well as about the opening of the new research center.

In the story, the scientific leader of the research, Marcis Leja, says that by participating in the GISTAR study, not a single participant has saved a life by discovering a malignant disease in a timely manner.
Professor Leja notes that every year gastric cancer is detected in 600 people in Latvia, while intestinal cancer - in 1,100. However, unfortunately, most of the diagnosis is very late. Therefore, citizens are encouraged to take the opportunity and the GISTAR research center to check their health in a timely manner.

The support of local governments is also very important in the implementation of the research. And now funds have been found for the establishment of a research center in Kuldiga Hospital.
Agris Rozenfelds, Chairman of the Board of Kuldīga Hospital, says that the hospital will provide premises for the implementation of the project, as well as local specialists are currently actively sought for the implementation of the project.

So far, the study has been conducted in Cēsis, Alūksne, Ludza, Dobele, Saldus, Tukums, Madona, Rēzekne and Jēkabpils, and almost 10,000 respondents are already involved in the study.

Currently, the research in Kuldiga is planned for 1.5 years until the middle of 2022, but in case of higher activity of the population, the possibility to continue its implementation for a longer period of time will be evaluated.

The TV broadcast can be viewed HERE.

October 5, 2020. In Certified NPO Japan Gastric Cancer Prediction, Diagnosis, and Treatment Research Organization latest journal  “Gastric Cancer Screening Using a Test of Risk Stratification (ABC Screening) ~ For Prediction, Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy for Gastric Cancer ~" is published an overwiev article on GISTAR study - "Report of a gastric cancer prevention RCT study by predicting atrophic gastritis; GISTAR study conducted by WHO".

The book contains English Summary and References at the end of each article, wich shows latest results and useful knowledge on the new Japanesegastric cancer screening method, using combined assay for serum anti-H-pylori IgG antibody and serum pepsinogen levels, and written by wide variety of Japanese authors of top experts in the gastric cancer study field.

The summary of the article can be found HERE.

- Month and year of publication:  December 2019
- Publisher:  Nanzando Co., Ltd.
- Publication place:  Tokyo

September 2, 2020. GISTAR research center in Jēkabpils actively continues its activities and for today already 1 232 respondents are included in the research in this center.
We are proud to announce that a total of 9 548 respondents are already included in the GISTAR study. The research was started in October 2013 in Cēsis, and so far it has also taken place in such Latvian cities as Alūksne, Ludza, Saldus, Tukums, Dobele, Madona and Rēzekne.
There is a positive trend - the number of respondents included in each subsequent research center is increasing. 
Discussions are also underway with the management of Kuldīga Hospital about the possibility of organizing the operation of the next GISTAR research center in Kuldīga.  

July 24, 2020. GISTAR research leaders Aiga Rūdule with colleagues visit Kuldīga Hospital and meet with its management to discuss possibilities to organize the next research center in Kuldīga.

July 2, 2020. We invite to get acquainted with the latest information about the GISTAR study written in Jēkabpils media and shown on TV.
Article in the information portal "Jēkabpils Laiks" - available HERE.
The television story of Vidusdaugava's TV is available HERE.

June 9, 2020. We are proud that among the projects financed in the 1st competition of the Fundamental and Applied Research Projects of the Latvian Council of Science in 2018 in the field of Medical and Health Sciences, also is the project GISTAR implemented by LU KPMI!

More information - HERE

February 29, 2020. In Moscow, Russia, February 27 - 28 the 46th SCIENTIFIC SESSION: "GENETICS IN GASTROENTEROLOGY: POSSIBILITIES AND PERSPECTIVES", organized by the Central Institute for Research on Gastroenterology (ЦНИИГ) took place.

LU KPMI Director M. Leja gave two lectures at the conference on topics of prevention of inherited gastrointestinal tumors and gastric cancer.

In a lecture on stomach cancer, M.Leja talked about GISTAR study in Latvia.

Further possibilities for cooperation with leading Russian gastroenterology experts were discussed, incl. opportunities to submit joint projects.

February 7, 2020. On February 6, a scientific-practical conference on the different aspects of gastric cancer "Stomach Cancer - A to Z" was held at Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University. The conference was attended by leading oncologists and management from St. Petersburg University, and practitioners from hospitals and outpatient clinics in the region.

The keynote presentation of the conference on the epidemiology and screening capabilities of gastric cancer was given by GISTAR project scientific leader, professor M.Leja. 

In his lecture, he focused on the GISTAR project implemented by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

In the picture: M.Leja with the main organizer of the conference, oncology surgeon, Professor Alexander Zakarenko

January 13, 2020. We are pleased to announce that the total number of respondents included in the GISTAR study has reached 9,000!

In its turn, Jekabpils Regional Center has already included 689 respondents.

It is planned to continue the research in Jekabpils till the end of this year.

January 10, 2020. January 6-8, 2020, Shenzhen, China.  The 1st Symposium on Million Microbiome of Human Project (MMHP) took place in the China National GeneBank. This is an ambitious and unique project aiming to draw human microbial maps of different races, ages, genders and health conditions based on at least 1 mil. metagenome analysis.
Involvement of research institutions from all over the world is anticipated. It has been planned that samples from Latvian inhabitants that have either already been donated for the GISTAR project realization or will be collected in the future within this study, will be an important part for MMHP and will allow either to characterize the human microbiome population in Latvia or to stimulate research in this field in the country.
The Director of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre Jānis Kloviņš and the Director of Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine Mārcis Leja were representing our country in the conference.  
MMHP is supported by the internationally leading experts in molecular biology – the BGI Company. Their daughter company MGI is also established in Latvia.


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