June 21th, 2018. A collaborative project for piloting GISTAR in Ukraine submitted for the UK GLOBAL HEALTH Initiative funding.
Under the coordination of Dr. Mangesh Thorat (Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London) a project application “Ukraine pilot of GISTAR trial- H. pylori eradication, pepsinogen testing and FIT for prevention of gastric and colorectal cancer mortality (GISTAR-U)”  was submitted.
The Ukrainian partners include Vinnytsia National Pirogov Memorial University (PI: Prof. Vyacheslav Chernobrovyj), Dnepropetrovsk National University (PI: Prof. Maryna Shcherbynina) and National Cancer Centre, Ukraine (PI: Prof. Andrii Lukashenko).


June 20th, 2018. European Commission’s director-general for research and innovation Jean-Eric Paquet was visiting Latvia. On June 20th, a meeting was held at the University of Latvia, in which University of Latvia leading research groups demonstrated their work and achievements in field of research. During the meeting, GISTAR research leader M. Leja informed about the progress of the GISTAR study, as well as on main sudies in oncology.

In the picture (from the left): Rector of the University of Latvia prof. I.Muižnieks, prof. A.Ambainis and European Commission director- general for research and innovation J.E.Paquet during a visit at the University of Latvia   


June 12th, 2018. On June 11th publishing house Taylor & Francis at Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology published an article made by the Research group of GISTAR about comparison of various tests for the detection of helicobacteria of stomach. The first author of the article is Sabine Skrebinska, a physician-resident. Voluminous work materials has been summarized, in which endoscopic stomach examinations were performed at the Digestive Diseases Centre GASTRO, but morphological investigations - in the Academic Histology Laboratory. Research data suggest that it is inadequate to use serological examinations (blood tests) as the only test for helicobacteria testing in daily practice.


A summary of the article can be found HERE.

June 7th, 2018. At the USA National Cancer Institute GISTAR research leader M. Leja gave an hour-long report about the ongoing researches on gastric cancer in Latvia, including information on the progress of the GISTAR study. After the meeting, several gatherings were held, including with the Co-ordinating Specialists on Global Activities for possible further expansion of cooperation. 

In the picture: M. Leja reports information about the GISTAR study to the experts of the National Cancer Institute


May 31th, 2018. Today, the regional research center of Madona has concluded its work. During the period from August 1st 2017 till May 31th 2018, 1276 respondents have been included in the GISTAR study in Madona. The research leader Marcis Leja thanked the workers of the Madona Research Center and the chairman of the board of Madona Hospital Artis Stuburs, for their work and support. In parallel, the GISTAR team is planning to expand research activities into other municipalities of Latvia, and already communication with local government representatives on the possibilities of research realization in other cities of Latvia is taking place.


May 24th, 2018. A seminar for family physicians is taking place in Rezekne, at "Zeimuļs" - Center for the Development of Eastern Latvia, during which GISTAR project manager professor Mārcis Leja gives a lecture "Ability to reduce stomach cancer mortality. International guidelines". M. Leja also introduces the participants of the seminar with the progress of the GISTAR study. During the seminar there are also discussions, during which family doctors have the opportunity to ask prof. M. Leja and research staff questions of interest.



May 16th, 2018. In order to acquaint representatives of local municipalities with the GISTAR study and discuss the possibilities of realization of the research in the municipalities of Latvia, the research leader Mārcis Leja and coordinator Aiga Rūdule participated in the annual general meeting of the Association of Regional Development Centers (RACA), which took place on May 15.


May 9th, 2018. Since October 2013, when the GISTAR study was launched in Cesis, to this moment, more than 7,400 respondents have been included in the project. The research has also been conducted in such cities of Latvia as Aluksne, Ludza, Saldus, Tukums and Dobele. There are currently two research centers active in Rezekne and Madona. There is a positive trend - the number of respondents included in each subsequent research center is increasing. For comparison, 761 respondents were included in the regional center of Cesis, in Ludza center - 1018, Saldus - 1077. In Rezekne cneter 1593 respondents are currently included, while in Madona - 1197.


April 13th, 2018. The initial results on the GISTAR pilot study results in Kazakhstan have been reported during the VIII International symposium on Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

In the picture: M.Leja with the poster


April 4th, 2018. Visit to the GISTAR Rezekne Regional Research Center. The research coordinator Aiga Rūdule went to Rezekne together with colleague Eva Martinson to train staff of the Research Center on how to give eradication therapy to patients. For today all together 7,168 respondents are included in the GISTAR study. 


March 12th, 2018. For more than four years now, the GISTAR study has been conducted in Latvia. We are proud to announce that on this week the number of respondents included in the study have reached 7,000! There are currently two research centers active in Rezekne (since April 2017) and Madona (since August 2017). We are truly glad to announce that 1,000nd respondent was included today in the Madona Research Center. It was Madona resident Zintis Asmus. In Rezekne Regional Research Center already have included more than 1000 respondents.
The inclusion of respondents in the study continues.

 
In the pictures: Employees of the Madona Research Center with Zintis Asmus


February 23rd, 2018. Today the International Gastric Cancer Prevention Research Forum has successfully concluded with the International Scientific Conference on Medicine at the University of Latvia.

Yesterday, on February 22nd, one of the most important events in the forum took place - European experts (gastroenterologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, basic science representatives) who agreed to participate in the GISTAR Study Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) gathered in Riga to critically look at the results of the study, their compliance with the requirements of a wide range of world-class epidemiological studies.
Yesterday morning, the leading researcher at the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, physician-gastroenterologist Ilze Kikuste, visited "Morning Panorama", to tell how important the issue of gastric cancer is in Latvia, what is the contribution of domestic researchers in identifying the possibilities for preventing this disease.
An interview can be viewed here.
The forum was organized by the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, and it was held all this week. At the forum met both leading European experts and representatives from countries with high incidence of stomach cancer - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Yakutia, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, as well as representatives of international professional and patient organizations. Over the course of the week, various topical issues related to research on gastric cancer prevention were discussed, projects implemented in Latvia were presented, and opportunities for future cooperation with foreign partners were discussed.

 


February 21th, 2018. For the third day active work and meetings is continuing in the framework of the International Gastric Cancer Prevention Research Forum. On Wednesday, forum participants had an excellent opportunity to visit the GISTAR Madona regional research center to get acquainted with its work on the spot and ask questions to the Research Center staff. The event was also attended by the chairman of the Madona City Council Agris Lungevičs, chairman of the board of Madona Hospital Artis Stuburs, members of the board Andis Audze and Atis Svilāne, as well as representatives of local media. During the second part of the day, a meeting was held at the premises of the University of Latvia's Microsoft Innovation Center. The topic of seminar was the unexplored opportunities and new technologies for reducing stomach cancer mortality. It was devoted to the presentation of survey data for specialists and risk populations, as well as the necessary improvements in gastric cancer prevention. The latest advances in technology, including advanced breath examinations for early detection of cancer, were also presented. The International Cooperation Partners of the University of Latvia of the consortium of the European project SNIFFPHONE ('smartphone for illness') and the representative of the European Patient Organization Europa Colon had also arrived to Riga to attend the meetings.
  
    In the pictures:  Moments form Madona research centre visit                           Meeting in Microsoft innovation Centre


February 20th, 2018. Today a meeting on the possibilities of expanding the GISTAR study is taking place at the Small Hall of the University of Latvia, which is being organized within the framework of the International Gastric cancer prevention research forum.

 

Indriķis Muiznieks, Rector of the University of Latvia, opened the meeting and gave an introductory speech.

The lectures were also given by Professor of the University of Latvia, head of the GISTAR study, Mārcis Leja, representative of the European Cancer Prevention Organization (ECP) Jaak Janssen, Sergey Pimanov, representative of the Vitebsk State Medical University (Belarus) and others.
On the second day of the forum, experts from countries with high morbidity - Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan - are introduced with the principles of the GISTAR study and the experience of Latvia. The purpose of the discussion - to explore the possibility of expanding research activities in these countries as well.
A video can be found here.
   
I.Muižnieks opens the second day               Participants of the forum       Building of the University with forum banner

February 19th, 2018. Today, the International Gastric cancer prevention research forum has been successfully launched. It started with a press conference. The vice-rector of the University of Latvia Valdis Seglins spoke highly of the work done by researchers at the University of Latvia, the international cooperation that has been implemented so far, and emphasized the importance of the research on gastric cancer. Prof. Marcis Leja addressed both- the program of the ongoing forum and the GISTAR study conducted by the University of Latvia. The spokeswoman for the International Cancer Research Agency Jin Young Park briefly presented the agency's operating principles, the problem of gastric cancer in the world, and the role of the GISTAR project. In turn, Nurbek Igissinov, Director of the Central Asian Cancer Institute and Aivars Fomins, Deputy Chairman of Aluksne County Council, presented a positive experience in the implementation of the GISTAR project.

The next part of the day was dedicated to discussing manuscripts related to gastrointestinal cancer research.

A video of the press conference can be found here.
 


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:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KOrudnTfsB4HlvDzS7tqRDZJaZYp_gFo&usp=sharing


January 30th, 2018. The GISTAR Regional center in Madona is actively continuing its 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. 


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