The Salgi Foundation Opens Grant Program for the Third Time

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Rhode Island, has opened its Grant Program for funding of esophageal cancer research for the third time since the charity first opened its doors in 2011. 

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation first awarded program director, Dr. Carlos Minacapelli and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnston Medical School grant funding in 2015.  In 2017, The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Council accepted Dr. Minacapelli’s abstract to be presented as a poster presentation during Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2017 held in Chicago, IL.   The abstract was entitled “Effect of Benzo[a]pyrene along with Acid and Bile is highly carcinogenic as shown in the in-vitro Barrett’s Esophagus Carcinogenesis (BEC) model.”

Then in 2018, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research 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 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. This research is currently underway.

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.  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, chronic cough, and GERD, typically appear once the cancer has become advanced.  This, in addition with other factors, leads to the current overall five-year survival rate of only 20.6%. Despite its rapid increase and poor prognosis, esophageal cancer receives very little awareness and research funding.

Despite its rapid increase and poor prognosis, many people are still unaware of esophageal cancer and research is critically underfunded.  “We are honored to once again open our Grant Program and look forward to awarding esophageal cancer research funding in 2023.”

Researchers interested in the program may visit:

Donations can be made here:

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

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