“This #GivingTuesday I’m Supporting The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation”

November 28, 2017

Today, Tuesday, November 28th is Giving Tuesday! The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to participate in this annual event.

Giving Tuesday opens the giving season and with your help, we will raise funds to raise awareness, encourage early detection and fund research of esophageal cancer…in hopes of a cure.™

How can you help make Giving Tuesday a success?

  • Help us get the word out on social media by visiting and liking our pages: FacebookTwitter and Instagram;
  • Donate to our charity: salorg/donate, as a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations are tax-deductible;
  • Share photos of your loved ones who have been affected by esophageal cancer on social media. Tag us in the photos @SalgiFoundation and we’ll re-post them on our pages;
  • Invite your co-workers, family members and friends to contribute by using the message below via social media or email:

I am supporting The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation today on Giving Tuesday and I hope you will, too!  [Optional: Insert personal story/reason for helping.]  Did you know esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the US, according to the National Cancer Institute? You can support awareness and research efforts by making a tax-deductible donating online:, and by sharing this information with your friends, family and colleagues by email or on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Thank you in advance!

Don’t forget! You can donate to our charity as a holiday gift!

When you give the gift of a donation to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, you will be giving a gift that lasts long after the holiday season is over.  Donation gifts can be made for anyone- your family, friend, co-worker or an acquaintance.  Just make the donation and let us know who and where to send acknowledgment to!

Thank You!

Giving Tuesday helps to unite us in the spirit of giving and to bring a spotlight to esophageal cancer, a cause that needs desperate attention.  Let’s make this Giving Tuesday a great success! Thank you in advance for helping to make a difference today and every day.


Tips Before You Donate

November 24, 2017

The holidays are in full swing and that means that the giving season has also arrived.  Before you donate a single penny this giving season, please consider the following tips so that you can ensure that your donation is well spent.

  1. Do Your Homework, For Free!

Create a free account with trustworthy websites like Charity Navigator to help ensure that the charity you intended to support is “efficient, ethical and effective.”   Once you create your account you will have access to financial data and other information to help you make an informed decision on where to donate your hard-earned money.

  1. How Will Your Donation Be Spent?

Find out exactly how the charity spends donation by viewing their IRS Form 990.  Websites like Charity Navigator lists charities IRS Form 990s. The IRS Form 990 “is the reporting form that many federally tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS each year. This form allows the IRS and the general public to evaluate a nonprofit’s operations; it includes information on the nonprofit’s mission, programs, and finances.”

It is important to note that smaller nonprofits with gross receipts of less than $50,000 do not have to file a 990 form.*

In the 990 form you will see exactly how much a nonprofit spent within the reporting year.  You will be able to see how much money goes towards the actual mission and how much is spent on other expenses such as salary and travel.

You might be surprised to see what you find out!

  1. Make Sure Your Donation is Tax Deductible.

While it is truly always better to give than to receive, charitable donations allow donors to give and receive at the same time.  Before you donate, make sure that your donation is actually tax deductible.

It may sound shocking but while most charitable organizations do qualify for charitable deduction, not all do.  There are certain organizations listed by the IRS that although they are exempt from income tax, your gift(s) to that organization will not be not tax-deductible for you. 


We hope these tips help you make an informed decision on what charity to give to this holiday season.  To view our 2016 Annual Report, please click here.  Happy Holidays and happy giving to you!





*Smaller nonprofits with gross receipts of less than $50,000 file Form 990-N.



Esophageal cancer: we were coming for you in 2011 and we still are.  

November 21, 2017

Dear Supporters,

It has been exactly six years since The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation was incorporated.

Our members have been fortunate to have met wonderful supporters and volunteers who, in one way or another, have been affected by esophageal cancer.

Some supporters have been with us from the very beginning, many have joined along the way, but all are blazing with determination to make a difference.

When The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation first “opened its doors”, the heartache from losing our beloved father and grandfather still painfully stung almost 13 years after his passing.  While the heartache from losing him has somewhat been eased knowing that this mission, which started in his memory, has undoubtedly helped others, we now feel the heartache in a greater and deeper sense.

That heartache deepens each and every time we learn one of our supporters has passed away, after an arduous and painful battle with esophageal cancer and the subsequent health effects.

The heartache deepens when we speak to loved ones of those who have passed away from esophageal cancer and they detail the struggles that they faced and the pain and sense of loss that the families are left with.

The heartache deepens when contributions are made in memory of a family member, friend or co-worker who is missed terribly.  The heartache further deepens whenever we read the tear-stained letters from the families of those who passed away and they want to make a difference in their loved ones memory, after witnessing the dreadfulness of esophageal cancer.

The heartache also deepens when we speak to someone who has been diagnosed or are going through treatments due to esophageal cancer or when we speak to their loved ones.

While the heartache is now deeper than it was before, it does not cause us to waver or to lose hope.

It is said that to be successful, a nonprofit must run as a business and as such, be carried out efficiently, with a clear plan and focus on the long and short-term goals.   We’ve been told that it is important to try and separate feelings from the business of running a nonprofit and to not let the heartache affect us.

To that we say: thanks, but no thanks.

The heartache that we’ve mentioned is our catalyst and part of the driving force utilize each day to press forward and continue this life-saving mission.

Esophageal cancer has taken too many people: men and women of all ages and ethnicities.  These are your people and now they are our people.  We love, treasure, honor and remember all of them each time any work for this mission is carried out.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation has made a tremendous impact as a smaller charity with limited resources towards raising awareness, promoting early detection and funding research.   While we are proud of these accomplishments, our focus is to continue to move forward.

Esophageal cancer, we were coming for you in 2011 and we still are.

We’re just stronger now.

With the help of our supporters and volunteers, we will continue to get stronger until one day, no one will have to be affected by the brutality of esophageal cancer.

Until then, we will continue to carry out this mission with vigor in honor of all who have been affected.

From the bottom of our heartache, thank you!


The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation

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“Challenging Case Teaches Oncology Fellow the Power of Hope” OncLive

November 1, 2017

This article was posted on OncLive on Monday, October 30, 2017 and is written by Laurel A. Menapace, MD.

To view the original article, please click here.


“My patient, “Mr D”, presented with esophageal cancer. He was a robust man who looked much younger than his 64 years and had remained active after retirement. He had served in the military for many years and was a classic Southern gentleman with a strong faith who attended church regularly. He had enjoyed good health until the preceding months, when he developed progressive dysphagia. Otherwise, Mr D had felt well enough to travel to the Grand Canyon during the summer and had delayed seeing his physician.

When Mr D returned home, his primary care physician initially reassured him that there was nothing to be overly concerned about. However, a routine endoscopy revealed a large esophageal mass that proved to be adenocarcinoma.

When I first sat down with Mr D and his wife, it was clear that they were both overwhelmed by their current situation. In a frenetic way, they had sought out several opinions regarding treatment prior to meeting with me and my colleagues. First, they sought out advice from a local oncologist. Then, they traveled and were evaluated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Following their visit to MSK, they sought advice at Mayo Clinic. Although exhausted, Mr D and his wife travelled to Cleveland Clinic before making any final decisions.

I was faced with providing Mr D and his wife with news that they had heard before. I explained that his esophageal tumor appeared to be unresectable and that upfront systemic chemotherapy would be the best approach for treatment. Although he showed no evidence of metastatic disease on staging scans, it was clear that there was only a limited chance of cure. Advanced esophageal cancer is a highly lethal malignancy and often spreads despite aggressive therapy. I discussed that treatment would be palliative in an attempt to reduce the esophageal mass and prevent additional side effect from his cancer; treatment would not eradicate the disease. When confronted with this information, Mr. D appeared defeated and weary. He was emphatic as he looked straight into my eyes and said, “I know you can cure me. I am going to beat this.”

As a young oncology fellow, I struggled to respond to this statement. How could I be realistic about his diagnosis without taking away his hope? In the eld of oncology, trainees are taught to be honest when delivering a cancer prognosis, yet to always leave some room for hope. When predicting when a patient may succumb to a malignancy, we cite historic precedent. But there are the rare patients who survive many months, even years, longer than initially assumed. I often remind patients that there are outliers—cancer treatment super responders who defy any traditional trajectory that could be predicted based on disease staging. And so, I suggested to Mr D that although there was no guarantee that his tumor would respond, enrolling in a clinical trial with induction chemotherapy followed by surgical resection, if there was dramatic tumor shrinkage, would be his best course of action.

Mr D subsequently enrolled in a trial and received 4 cycles of leucovorin, uorouracil, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) combination therapy. At each follow-up visit, Mr D appeared to be tolerating treatment extremely well; his dysphagia resolved entirely. His excitement grew, as did mine, as he completed 4 rounds of chemotherapy. We therefore took the next step of scheduling his surgery for the following month. Then, during his final visit before restaging scans were to be obtained, Mr D appeared concerned. He mentioned that he had developed some vague abdominal pain in the preceding days.

Given his clinical course, I reassured him that it was likely nothing. I, too, held the same hope that he had responded to treatment. Unfortunately, the results of a computed tomography (CT) scan of his abdomen delivered on the following day revealed small, but undeniable, peritoneal nodules that raised suspicion of carcinomatosis. A subsequent CT-guided biopsy of 1 of these nodules demonstrated adenocarcinoma.

I called Mr D later that day to inform him of the bad news. He now had metastatic disease and would not be a candidate for surgery. Instead, we would have to proceed with second-line systemic chemotherapy. I told him I was concerned that his cancer had progressed in a short period of time.

To this news, he simply responded with, “I believe in the power of hope,” which astonished me. Mr D went on to receive several cycles of treatment, followed by a course of palliative radiotherapy after his esophageal tumor grew in size again. He then enrolled in hospice care, but passed away only a few months later.

Mr D’s case left a lasting impression on me and my approach to practicing medicine. While his story may not be unique, it does remind me what a tremendous privilege it is to be an oncologist and to dispense hope to my patients. Hope is a powerful tool. To hope is to be human—undoubtedly an evolutionary behavior that has allowed humanity to overcome incredible adversity throughout the centuries. As an oncologist, I witness humans facing extreme challenges every day. Mr. D’s story is reminder of why I maintain hope for all of my patients and their families.”


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This post contains information shared from another website and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information or opinions shared.



Zinc may halt the growth of esophageal cancer cells, study says.

October 3, 2017

via University of Texas at Arlington

Zinc supplements can significantly inhibit the proliferation of esophageal cancer cells, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Texas at Arlington researcher.

Previous studies had shown that zinc is essential for maintaining human health and protects the esophagus from cancer. However, it has never been fully understood why zinc has the ability to prevent cancer in the esophagus. In this study, a team led by Zui Pan, an associate professor of nursing at UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation and a noted esophageal cancer researcher, discovered that zinc selectively halts the growth of cancer cells but not normal esophageal epithelial cells. The finding was published this month in The FASEB Journal, the official journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of human cancer deaths around the world, according to the National Cancer Institute. The institute estimates that there were almost 16,000 esophageal cancer deaths in the United States in 2016. The average five-year survival rate is less than 20 percent.

Pan said this study could provide a pathway for better esophageal cancer prevention and treatment.

“Zinc deficiency has been found in many cancer patients,” said Pan, whose study was funded in part by a research grant from the National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute. “Both clinical data and animal studies have shown that this mineral is very important for overall body health and for cancer prevention.”

Zinc is an important element in many proteins and many enzymes and the absence of zinc makes it impossible for cells to function, she added.

“But previously we didn’t know why the same physiological concentrations of zinc inhibit cancer cell growth but not normal cells. Our study, for the first time to our knowledge, reveals that zinc impedes overactive calcium signals in cancer cells, which is absent in normal cells, and thus zinc selectively inhibits cancer cell growth.” said Pan. “It now appears that zinc and calcium can have a cross talk, meaning that they can be linked.”

An insufficient amount of zinc can lead to the development of cancers and other diseases, Pan said.

“That’s why it is important to have a good diet,” she said.

Zinc enriched foods include spinach, flax seeds, beef, pumpkin seeds and seafood like shrimp and oysters.

Pan said that in the future they will study these two signals link, how they impact each other and how researchers can take advantage of what they know.  Such a step will guide them in developing a better prevention and treatment strategy, she said.


Story Source:

Materials above provided by University of Texas at Arlington.

Editor Note: Content may be edited.



This post contains information provided by a press release from authors of the highlighted abstracts and reflects the content of those abstracts. It does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data.


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Research Points Potential Way to Effective Immunotherapy Use for Esophageal Cancer Patients

September 7, 2017

via Allegheny Health Network

Immunotherapy drugs such as nivolumab (Opdivo) have given new hope to lung cancer and melanoma patients, some of whom are seeing remarkable response rates with the new therapies. However, progress has been slow for other cancers, including one of the deadliest, esophageal cancer.

Now, in research just published in Annals of Surgery, cancer specialists at Allegheny Health Network’s Esophageal and Lung Institute and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins have looked at how the immune microenvironment changes during standard chemotherapy and radiation treatment in tissue samples from 31 esophageal cancer patients and a rat model of the disease to shed light on how immunotherapy drugs like nivolumab may help patients with esophageal cancer.

“As physicians who care for patients with esophageal cancer, we are continually working to find new ways to prevent and treat this aggressive cancer,” said Blair Jobe, MD, Chair of the Esophageal and Lung Institute at Allegheny Health Network and one of the principal investigators in the study. “We believe our findings could have significant implications for the treatment of esophageal cancer patients.”

Blair Jobe, MD and Ali Zaidi, MD, Director of Research at AHN’s Esophageal and Lung Institute led the research along with Ronan Kelly, MD, MBA, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Other AHN researchers included E. Day Werts, PhD., radiation biologist, Division of Radiation Oncology, and Jan Silverman, MD, Chair of Pathology at AHN.

Among tissue samples of esophageal cancer patients treated with combined chemotherapy and radiation, the scientists report statistically significant increases of between nearly 20 and 30 percent of the expression of proteins such as PD-L1 and CTLA-4, which are involved in regulating tumor responses to immune system cells. They also found an increase in the number of T-cells, the soldiers of the immune system, within tumor tissue samples after the patients were treated with chemo and radiation, compared with before their treatment.

In a study of 22 rats which are bred to develop acid reflux disease and subsequent esophageal cancers, the scientists treated 10 of the rats with nine weeks of a lower dose of radiation and 12 rats with a higher dose. Among the esophageal tumors removed from the rats, the scientists found up to twice the levels of PD-L1 expression the within the tumors treated with higher doses of radiation than those that received lower doses. However, because of the small sample size of rats, the changes in protein expression levels was not considered statistically significant. What the scientists did find, though, was that the expression levels were highest immediately after radiation treatment and leveled off as time went on.

“If we continue to find that radiation causes immunologic changes in tumors, we can test whether drugs that target the immune system are able to drive more cancer-killing T-cells into the tumor,” says Kelly. The investigators hope that the human body’s dormant immune defenses can be tricked into recognizing and killing esophageal cancer cells when combined with chemo-radiation.

“Esophageal cancer is a deadly disease that even when detected early is fatal in the majority of patients. Chances of spreading throughout the body are extremely high even in patients where it is diagnosed early and resected. Therefore, newer ways are required to treat this deadly disease in real-time.” says Ali Zaidi MD, Director Research at Esophageal and Lung Institute.

The scientists at AHN and Johns Hopkins are conducting a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of adding immunotherapy to standard chemotherapy and radiation in patients with esophageal cancer.

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Story Source:

Materials above provided by Allegheny Health Network.  Editor Note: Content may be edited.





This post contains information provided by a press release from authors of the highlighted abstracts and reflects the content of those abstracts. It does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data.

Outcomes Favor Laparoscopic Surgery for Lower to Mid Esophageal Cancer, Study Shows

September 6, 2017

Patients requiring surgery for esophageal cancer fare better after undergoing a hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy (HMIO) compared to an open esophagectomy (OO), according to long-term results of the MIRO trial to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Mature results of the phase 3 study, with follow-up to a median of 48.8 months, demonstrate that the reduced surgical trauma associated with a laparoscopic approach, does not cut corners on safety, said investigator Dr. Guillaume Piessen, from University Hospital C. Huriez, Lille, France.

“In addition to a 69% reduction in major intra- and postoperative morbidity, three-year overall survival was improved in the laparoscopic group, showing that it is an oncologically sound procedure,” Piessen said.

While the survival difference between groups was not statistically significant, he called it “highly clinically relevant.”

MIRO enrolled 207 adult patients from 13 centers with resectable cancers of the middle or lower third of the esophagus.

They were randomized to undergo either HMIO or an OO.

At 30-days, major postoperative morbidity occurred in significantly fewer patients in the HMIO compared to the OO group (35.9% versus 64.4%, odds ratio [OR] 0.31, 95%CI 0.18-0.55; p<0·001).

At three years, there was also a trend in the HMIO group towards improved overall survival and disease-free survival (67.0% versus 55%, p=0.05 and 57% versus 48%, p=0.15).

Commenting on the trial, Prof. Ulrich Güller, from Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Switzerland said: “This represents an extremely important, well-designed and well-conducted study demonstrating that HMIO is an oncologically sound procedure and significantly reduces postoperative morbidity. Based on these results, the HMIO should become the new standard operating procedure for patients with mid and low [esophageal] cancer.”

Güller added, “I think it is key to mention Prof. Christophe Mariette, the first author of this important trial, who sadly passed away one month ago. Prof. Mariette was a model of a surgical scientist and an opinion leader in the field, and his contribution to the MIRO trial was of cardinal importance.”

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Materials above provided by European Society For Medical Oncology (ESMO).  Editor Note: Content may be edited.



  1. Abstract 615O_PR ‘Hybrid Minimally Invasive vs. Open Esophagectomy for patients with Esophageal Cancer: Long-term outcomes of a multicentre, open-label, randomized phase III controlled trial, the MIRO trial” will be presented by Dr Guillaume Piessen during Proffered Paper Session ‘Gastrointestinal tumours, non-colorectal 1’ on Friday, 8 September 2017, 14:00 to 15:30 (CEST) in Barcelona Auditorium.



This post contains information provided by a press release from authors of the highlighted abstracts and reflects the content of those abstracts. It does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data.