The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation has issued funding for esophageal cancer research in November, 2018; the second time in just seven years since the charity was founded.
The Foundation awarded principal investigator, Dr. Donald Low and Virginia Mason Medical Center, grant funding. Dr. George Hanna of St Mary’s Hospital (Imperial College London) is co-investigator. The research is currently underway.
In 2011, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation was established to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer. Since 2011, the foundation has both raised awareness and encouraged the importance of earliest possible detection throughout New England, across the United States and internationally. The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation first funded esophageal cancer research in July, 2015.
“The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is excited to be a part of Dr. Low’s, Professor Hanna’s and Virginia Mason’s research efforts in honor of all the brave men and women who have been affected by esophageal cancer and to hopefully reduce incidence and improve outcomes for individuals in the future,” President of the foundation, stated.
The research intends to establish a non-invasive test for the detection of esophageal cancer that is based upon the unique signature of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within exhaled breath and to analyze exhaled VOCs in response to therapeutic intervention in patients.
Learn the Facts About Esophageal Cancer
One of the primary risk factors associated with esophageal cancer is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux disease, of which the most common symptom is chronic heartburn. Other risk factors include obesity, heavy drinking, poor nutrition and smoking and/or use of tobacco products.
With over a 733% increase in the past four decades, esophageal cancer is among the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the United States and the western world.1
There are no current standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earlier stages. Current guidelines recommend referral for endoscopy “only in the setting of ‘red flag’ symptoms that are frequently associated with inoperable disease,” Dr. Low stated.
These ‘red flag’ symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, typically appear once the cancer has become advanced. This, in addition with other factors mentioned, leads to the current overall five-year survival rate of only 19.2%.2 Despite its rapid increase and poor prognosis, esophageal cancer receives very little awareness and research funding.
The Salgi Foundation: Past Esophageal Cancer Research Funding
In July, 2015, the Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation issued esophageal cancer research funding to Program Director Dr. Carlos Minacapelli and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnston Medical School. That research was presented as a poster presentation during Digestive Disease Week in May, 2017.
The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation would like to thank all our supporters and donors who believe in this mission and who make these accomplishments possible. However, this is just the beginning. The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation continuously receives many requests for esophageal cancer research. We need to continue our efforts to fundraise so that we may continue to fulfill this mission to raise awareness, encourage early detection and fund research.
To make a tax-deductible donation to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, please visit: SALGI.org/donate.
1 “Esophageal Cancer Sees Dramatic Spike.” Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News. 18 October 2018. https://www.gastroendonews.com/In-the-News/Article/10-18/Esophageal-Cancer-Sees-Dramatic-Spike-/53083
2 “Cancer Stat Facts: Esophageal Cancer.” National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. 11 December 2018. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/esoph.html