Controversies in cancer screening: Gastric Cancer

Tuesday 28 March 2023

18:30 CET (Paris), 17:30 GMT (London), 19:30 EET (Athens)

Translation to Spanish, German, & French
Traducción simultánea al Español
Simultanübersetzung ins Deutsche
Traduction simultanée vers le Français

Gastric cancer is the fifth most common and forth most killer cancer worldwide, and screening remains one of the controversial topics. 75% of all new cases and all deaths from stomach cancer are reported in Asia. Although it is very rare in Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe has the second highest prevalence.

Primary and secondary prevention strategies are the focus of stomach cancer prevention. Between 30% and 50% of cancers can be prevented by avoiding well known risk factors and implementing evidence-based prevention strategies, the burden can be reduced through early detection of cancer. A 5-year relative stomach cancer survival rate of about 20% is observed in Western developed countries and in developing countries.

Upper GI endoscopy is the gold standard for stomach cancer diagnosis and used in screening in high-risk areas ( Japan, Korea, Venezuela and etc). But the procedure is quite expensive, unpleasant and has a risk, while the available evidence on endoscopic surveillance of premalignant gastric lesions is showing conflicting results.

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Prof. Mehmet Ungan
Prof. Ungan is the immediate past President of the WONCA Europe, a GP/FD Scientific Organization in Europe. He has been an active Professor at Ankara University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine since 2011. Also Past President of the European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN). He is a founder and former President of the Turkish Association of Family Physicians, and a member of the Academic Board of FM in Turkey. Certified as GP Trainer in University of Exeter Postgraduate Medical School, UK (1993), worked in Essen/Germany in internal medicine clinics and certified for GI endoscopy procedure. Worked as Deputy Medical Director of the METU University for 18 years, was an advisor of the Ministry on FM/GP. Currently is a board member of IPPA and an expert in WHO Europe on Primary care. His research publications are in the field of Primary Care, Family Practice (GP), screening, and migrant health. He published books and book chapters of more than 100 printed articles cited.


Prof. Marcis Leja
Marcis Leja is a Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, University of Latvia and a consulting gastroenterologist at the Digestive Diseases Centre, Riga, Latvia. He has served as a member of the European Cancer Mission Board from 2019 to 2021; currently is a member of the Research Committee of United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and the European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (EHMSG) as well as a fellow of Latvia Academy of Science and American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).
His main research interests include prevention and early detection of gastrointestinal cancer, in particular - gastric cancer.

Since 2013 the group led by Dr Leja is conducting a randomized gastric cancer prevention study GISTAR, the only of its type in Europe. Recently (2023) a project “Towards gastric cancer screening implementation in the European Union” has been launched and will be coordinated by Dr Leja.
The related interests of Dr Leja include the use of volatile organic marker (VOC) diagnostic concept in gastrointestinal cancer detection, the role of microbiota in health and disease as well as the use of large data and AI for prevention and early detection. Dr Leja is author of more than 200 research publications and 6 book chapters.


Prof. Juan Mendive
Family Physician at La Mina Primary Care Academic Centre, University of Barcelona. Tutor of the Family Medicine teaching programme and Trainer of family physicians at the Family Medicine Teaching Unit.

He is the Spanish Representative at the European Society for Primary Care Gastroenterology (ESPCG), and current President of ESPCG . He is also the Secretary of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health (WWPMH) and Member of the Social Prescribing and Community Orientation Special Interest Group of Wonca Europe. He was vice president of Wonca Europe Executive ( 1998-2001).

Dr.Mendive’s main areas of interest are gastrointestinal problems on primary care ( mainly reflux problems, NAFLD and functional disorders) as well as Mental Health problems, (mainly emotional disorders from prevention to management). He is currently participating at the ongoing international project: Developing, implementing and evaluating a clinical pathway for NASH/NAFLD patients in primary care: a multicenter study, coordinated from University of Crete. He is also participating nowadays on the Rome V Initiative for the development of the new recommendations for functional GI disorders in Primary Care and on the Predict initiative that provides tools for prevention of depression based on individual risk profiles.

28 March 2023