February 8th, 2018. 

The International GISTAR Study Extension and Gastric Cancer Prevention Research Forum, organized by the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine of the University of Latvia
, will take place on February 19-23. It will bring together leading European experts and representatives from countries with high levels of gastric cancer, as well as representatives from international professional and patient organizations. During the week, various topical issues related to research on gastric cancer prevention will be discussed, the projects implemented in Latvia will be presented and opportunities for future cooperation with foreign partners will be discussed.

The Forum's programs can be found here:
* MONDAY, February 19th
* TUESDAY, February 20th
   * Live stream
* WEDNESDAY, February 21st
* THURSDAY, February 22nd
* FRIDAY, February 23rd
   * Invitation
   * Programme

More information about the Forum is available here.

Event venues:
    The University of Latvia, Mazā aula        Academic Centre for Natural Sciences    Centre of Inovation of LU and Microsoft
               19 Raina blvd., Riga                             1 Jelgavas street, Riga                            4 Kalpaka blvd., Riga

Event location and coordinates on the map:

January 30th, 2018. The GISTAR Regional center in Madona is actively continuing itAs work, and there are 800 respondents included in the study. It is planned to extend the implementation of the study in Madona until May 31st, that is why documents further coordination with the representatives of Madona City Council and Madona Hospital do take place.

Still ongoing active recruitment in the GISTAR Regional center in Rezekne.

January 15th, 2018. Active discussions are continuing with representatives of Preiļi City Council and the Hospital about realization of the GISTAR study in Preiļi. It is planned that the study in Preiļi will begin on the 1st of June, 2018.

November 30th, 2017. Today at Rezekne regional GISTAR sudy center the 1000th respondent was included! His mane is Fjodoras Cuprinikovas, a resident of Rezekne region. Fjodoras, in a conversation with the GISTAR study representatives, notes that he has come to the examinations, because taking care of health is in the first place for him. Fjodoras does not drink alcohol, does not smoke and cares for a healthy diet. In the conversation he notes that it is difficult to avoid inherited illnesses, so it is very important to do examinations on time. The GISTAR regional research centres is a great opportunity to conduct such examinations. Fjodoras commends the employees of the Rezekne regional center, noting that they are nice, friendly and responsive, and are very much trying to do their job well. Fjodoras points out, as important in the realization of the GISTAR study, that it is essential for the research to develop directly in the regions, because here people are less informed and often carelessly treating their own health and are reluctant to attend doctors. The thousandth respondent recommends everyone to go to the examinations because the attitude to you own health is of utmost importance!

In the picures: Fjodoras Cuprinikovas with the employees of Rezekne Regional Research Center

November 20th, 2017. At the conference organized by the European Cancer Prevention Organization (ECP)  on 17-18th of November (Antwerpen, Belgium) the GISTAR study protocol and process were presented, as well as opportunities for further cooperation with this organization were discussed.

In the picture: Flanders Prime Minister G. Bourgeois opens the conference (November 18th, 2017)

November 17th, 2017. The seminar for family physicians took place at Madona City Hospital yesterday, on 16th of November. During the seminar the scientific director of the GISTAR study Mārcis Leja delivered a lecture entitled "Gastritis, H. pylori. Doctor's behavior ". The progress of the GISTAR study was also presented to the participants of the seminar by professor M.Leja. At the end of the seminar physicians had the opportunity to ask questions to the professor.

November 16th, 2017. On November 14th at 7:40 am at Madona regional GISTAR sudy center the 500th respondent was included! During the visit to Madona Center, research leader M.Leja and coordinator A.Rudule thanked Madonna employees for their accomplishments. 

November 9th, 2017. We are glad to announce, that for today altogether 6000 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study! 890 individuals of these were included in the study at Rezekne Regional Center, 483 - in Madona. Recruitment is continuing.

November 3rd, 2017. During the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW) in Barcelona there was the regular meeting of the International Group of Healthy Stomach Initiative (HSI). It is an international group of medical professionals with a purpose to pay attention of the medical professionals and the population to stomach health and preventive measures that provide it.

The scientific director of the GISTAR study M.Leja reported on the progress of the study in Latvia, as well as on a pilot study process in Kazakhstan.
Chief editor of the Gut (leading gastrointestinal journal in Europe) E.El-Omar (Sydney, Australia), praised the results of the study of breath tests carried out in Latvia as most cited articles of this magazine in connection with stomach problems.

November 1st, 2017. The scientific director of the GISTAR study M.Leja and leading investigator I.Kikuste together with Ekaterina V. Melnikova and her collegue (Yaroslavl, Russia) with the poster in United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW) in Barcelona discussing the potential of Russian centres to get involved in GISTAR study. The poster is covering the accuracy of pepsinogen tests to detect atrophy in the stomach mucosa, and the first author is Claudia Robles from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

October 31st, 2017. On October 24-25th professor of the University of Vanderbilt Maria Blanca Piazuelo, visited Latvia.

On October 24th M.B. Piazuelo met with the leading researchers of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine of the University of Latvia - Sergei Isaev, Arnis Kirshners and Sergei Parshutin. During the meeting M.B. Piazuelo was introduced to the GISTAR Information System and Histology Slide Storage System. There were discussed several topics – entering of the histological findings of the stomach biopsy in the GISTAR system, and the adaptation of histology slide resolution for system and research purposes. The definition of pre-cancerous stomach conditions, the methods used and their interpretation were discussed by scientists. During the meeting, samples of the biopsy of the most complicated patients in the GISTAR study were also analyzed.
On October 25th M.B. Piazuelo met with the scientific director of the GISTAR study, Professor of the University of Latvia, Marcis Leja. During the meeting GISTAR research activities and the progress on publications were discussed.
For information - Maria Blanca Piazuelo is one of the world's leading specialists in detecting pre-cancerous stomach conditions. This is the second time Prof. Piazuelo, within the framework of the collaborative study, arrives in Riga. It should be noted that prof. Piazuelo is a student and work successor of Pelayo Correa, the world-famous American pathologist.

In the picture: Prof. Maria Blanca Piazuelo

September 12th, 2017. The results of research in Latvia in the form of several reports were reported at the XXXth International Workshop on Helicobacter and Microbiota in Inflammation and Cancer, which took place on September 7 - 9th in Bordeaux, France. The participants of the conference, among them the Nobel Prize winner B. Marshall and other leading experts in the industry participating in the conference, were reported the data obtained in Latvia by residents and graduates of the University of Latvia (Yelizaveta Pavlova, Olga Sjomina, Zane Dzerve), and researchers of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine (Ilva Daugule, Ieva Lashina, Darta Pupola). The Helicobacter pylori genome project (HpGP) which also includes Latvia was represented in the framework of the Congress.


August 29th, 2017. The design of the GISTAR study was published in the international scientific journal BMJ Open.

August 22nd, 2017. We are pleased to announce that on August 18th, the opening ceremony of the GISTAR Regional center in Madona took place. It was attended by the GISTAR project leader Professor of the University of Latvia Marcis Leja, Deputy Chairman of the Council on Education, Culture and Social Affairs Zigfrīds Gora, Medical Director of the Madona Hospital Astrīda Svilāne, Chairman of the board of the Hospital Artis Stuburs and Member of the Board Andis Audže. The research leader M.Leja appreciated the high level of activity of Madona's city residents and interest in this project, thanked the city hospital and municipality for supporting the project, and also mentioned the importance of the GISTAR project for small regions. Future cooperation opportunities for the successful continuation of the study in Madona were discussed with the management of the hospital and the municipality. The research coordinator Aiga Rūdule presented the research process and details to the participants of the event.

August 8th, 2017. The first week of the GISTAR Regional center in Madona has been successful.During that time the research center was attended by the first 30 respondents (including 18 women and 12 men).

August 1st, 2017. With the support of Madona Municipality and the City Hospital, the GISTAR Regional center in Madona has started its work. On its first working day the center was visited by the first three respondents. In total, 4996 respondents have already been included in the study.

July 24th, 2017. Research employees of GISTAR study Inese Veckagane and Eva Martinsone, together with the future staff of the regional GISTAR centre in Madona, are visiting Rezekne to introduce new employees on-site to the daily work process of the research center.


July 21st and 22nd, 2017. The second round of training for the future staff of the regional GISTAR centre in Madona is underway. During the training courses, the new employees learned the practical skills necessary for the study, as well as how the participants are included in the study. The work was carried out in pairs, the future employees were undergoing tuition, such as questioning, the input of data into the DVS system, standards of taking blood tests and blood sampling, as well as the carrying out, preparation and storage of saliva tests, and the procedures for performing breath tests.



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