Gut Check: Groups Align to Fight GI Cancers

Gut CheckProgress has been too slow for patients with gastrointestinal cancers,” says Craig Lustig, associate director of the Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers. Part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ruesch Center became founding member and academic center for the new GI Cancers Alliance. In June, the coalition of 20 groups from around the United States committed to work together to fight against gastrointestinal cancers, which represent many of the leading cancer killers. These include cancers of the esophagus, gallbladder, bile duct, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel (large intestine or colon and rectum), and anus.

“We believe this unique collaboration will strengthen the voice of our community and improve outcomes for patients,” Lustig says. “We share a common core belief that a unified patient voice is central to addressing unmet needs in screening, awareness, and treatment.”

The mission of the GI Cancers Alliance is to raise awareness, provide education, and advocate for the prevention, treatment, and cure of gastrointestinal cancers through a collaboration of advocacy organizations, industry stakeholders, and institutional partners.

Since the group’s founding this summer, progress has already been made by aligning purposes, as the group works to create resources and tools to help fill the gaps for patients seeking help.

“There has been tremendous momentum amongst GI cancer stakeholders, in a short period of time, through the Alliance,” notes John Hopper, executive director of the Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation, board director of the National Pancreas Foundation, and Alliance co-chair.

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