Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team:
Early Detection and Interception of Diffuse and Intestinal Gastric Cancer

Grant Term: September 2020–August 2023

Gastric (stomach) cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death worldwide. New ways are needed to detect this cancer early when it can be successfully treated. This Research Team is working to identify biomarkers, such as particular bits of DNA or cells shed from the tumor, that circulate in the blood system and indicate the presence of gastric cancer. The Team has also developed a new detection technology using a pill-sized camera that can be swallowed by the patient and a marker that “lights up” cancer cells. This may enable researchers to capture images of stomach tissue at risk of developing cancer. If validated in a clinical trial, these methods will help doctors screen people in groups at risk of gastric cancer.


More than 11,000 Americans die from gastric cancer every year, and it is much more prevalent in other countries, particularly in Asia. African-Americans and Hispanics are also at increased risk for gastric cancer, and it is more common in men than in women. In the United States, the rate of survival for gastric cancer five years after diagnosis is only 32 percent. This is largely because the disease is not usually detected until it is far advanced. Better means of early detection would save many lives.

The SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team is developing new ways to spot the cancer early, when it can be more successfully treated. This includes identifying bits of DNA and cells that break off from the tumors and circulate in the blood. Biomarkers found in animal studies will then be validated in human blood and tissue samples collected in the United States and in South Korea, where gastric cancer is far more common. If these biomarkers can be definitely tied to gastric tumors, they can be used to help detect the disease at an early stage. Scientists on the team have also developed a new imaging agent and a tiny, pill-sized camera that could perform imaging of stomach tissue at risk of developing cancer.

The team will validate its new methods in a clinical trial. Once these methods are available at the clinical level, doctors could use them to screen people in populations at risk of developing gastric cancer—such as people with a hereditary predisposition—and catch the problem early.

Detecting Gastric Cancer


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team.

Research Team Members

Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH
Mass General Cancer Center

Sandra Ryeom, PhD
Columbia University Medical School

Daniel Catenacci, MD
University of Chicago
Principal Investigator

Jeremy Davis, MD
National Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator

Hyuk Lee, MD
Samsung Medical Center
Principal Investigator

Jeeyun Lee, MD
Samsung Medical Center
Principal Investigator

Yanghee Woo, MD
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Sam Yoon, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Marina Magicheva-Gupta
Mass General Cancer Center
Project Manager

Jason Diaz
Stomach Cancer Awareness Network

Aki A. Smith
Stomach Cancer Awareness Network

“We have been actively involved in developing new noninvasive endoscopic imaging techniques that can define areas of the stomach that are at high risk of developing cancer. We can also use this information to derive new blood-based biomarkers that can be used for early detection of stomach cancer.”

Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH
Mass General Cancer Center


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. For the SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team, please click on the link below to see summaries of their research results so far.



Determinants of Response and Intrinsic Resistance to PD-1 Blockade in Microsatellite Instability-High Gastric Cancer.
Minsuk Kwon, Minae An, Samuel J. Klempner, et al.
Cancer Discov. 2021 Apr 12;candisc.0219.2021. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0219.


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At, you’ll find clinical trial information, answers to common questions, and a free clinical trial finder tool.



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