Nick Goodall with his grandchildren

Tis the season for hope and joy

For 22 years AGITG researchers have provided hope to people affected by gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer as they work to uncover better treatments.

At the GI Cancer Institute there is an overriding belief that we will find a way to more effectively treat and cure gastro-intestinal cancer.

With the festive season approaching, our connection to family, friends and life is strong. Nick Goodall, a retired farmer, knows too well what family and life mean at this time of year.

Nick was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2006; his immediate reaction was one of “sheer, unadulterated terror. I wasn’t ready for my life to be taken away by cancer,” said Nick. Watch Nick talk about his cancer journey here.

Nick was lucky. When he visited his oncologist, he was told that he could be treated under a new treatment regime that increased survival rates by 30% in a clinical trial conducted by the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG), and supported by the GI Cancer Institute.

Nick is here today to celebrate this joyous and festive season with his family because of the work of our researchers. In the five years between 2003 and 2007 103,000 Australians were diagnosed with GI Cancer. At the end of 2007 only 55,600 were still alive. That is just less than a 50% survival rate.

GI Cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia.  Each year 23,000 Australians are diagnosed with GI cancer and every day 29 Australians lose their battle with this disease.

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These statistics are not just numbers. They represent people like Nick, with families and friends who are living their lives with dreams for the future.

It is for them that our researchers continue to work to find better ways to treat  GI cancer.

Be part of a special team of people who work diligently to discover breakthroughs to improve the lives of people suffering from GI cancer.

INTEGRATE, our latest oesophageal cancer study is providing new hope.

Our researchers have developed a trial for people with oesophageal cancer that are resistant to current treatment options. The INTEGRATE trial is testing a drug that has shown promising results with other GI cancers. It will determine if this drug can provide extra time and a better quality of life for oesophageal cancer patients.

The trial is being conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Korea and will enrol 150 patients over 14 months. The results will be reported in late 2014.

The INTEGRATE study is also looking at isolating cancer markers that will help to identify people with oesophageal cancer who may be more responsive to this drug.

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Your support helps to find the breakthroughs not only for the INTEGRATE study, but also for the 23 other trials in GI cancer that our researchers are conducting.