Worldwide, gastric (stomach) cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in the United States, 21,600 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 10,990 Americans will die from the disease in 2013.
Despite these statistics, in the US stomach cancer receives less than one half of one percent (0.4%) of federal funding for cancer research. Click here for additional details.
Since 2009, the Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF) has led a call-to-action to build awareness of stomach cancer and add to the resources, funding and understanding of this disease for patients, researchers and the public.
Through education, research and advocacy, the Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF) is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by stomach cancer and to working with leading researchers to find a cure. We are committed to fulfilling our mission through:
- Education: GCF serves as a comprehensive resource for anyone with stomach cancer, their family, friends or caregivers – after a new diagnosis, during treatment and post-treatment. Our website provides a central resource of information to teach people about the disease, treatment options, and how to move forward. To learn more about stomach cancer please visit Get Informed.
- Research: GCF funds cutting edge research in stomach cancer. In 2011, GCF opened the first national Gastric Cancer Registry, a data bank of information and tissue samples to support intensified research and advance understanding of the disease. Registry data is fueling research that will lead to new strategies to diagnose, treat and defeat stomach cancer. To learn more about our research projects and the first Gastric Cancer Registry please visit the “What We Fund” section of our website.
- Advocacy and community: GCF works to connect patients and caregivers to a supportive community of people who have experienced similar struggles and can provide hope and encouragement. GCF also strives to increase awareness of stomach cancer through ongoing outreach and communications activities, and a growing number of events held across the United States. GCF partners with other cancer organizations to increase the collective focus on all types of cancer research, and on stomach cancer in particular. Be Connected and Get Involved.
In 2009 JP Gallagher, a San Francisco Bay Area professional diagnosed with stomach cancer at age 37, founded the Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF - originally called the Gastric Cancer Fund).
After treatment that included the complete removal of his stomach, JP wanted to address the disturbing lack of information available to patients and the terribly inadequate level of funding for research. JP’s vision was to create an organization that would advance research to find a cure, and help patients and caregivers cope with and understand the disease. With the encouragement and guidance of his father-in-law, Dave Grogan, and the support of his friend and oncologist, Dr. James Ford, JP mobilized a dedicated group of volunteer leaders to launch GCF. An extraordinary partnership was formed with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which has enabled the young non-profit to grow under the fiscal sponsorship and with the support of an established and highly respected cancer organization .
Under JP’s leadership, GCF has raised millions of dollars for cancer research from generous individuals and corporations. In addition to providing patients with resources and information via the website and events, GCF has funded some of the most important research in stomach cancer.
Sadly, JP experienced two recurrences of stomach cancer. Though he stayed active as GCF Chairman until the very end, he lost his battle with the disease and passed away on February 26, 2013.
The Board and volunteers remain committed to continuing JP’s strong legacy and will honor the mission and momentum of GCF. With continued investment from GCF, we are determined to find a cure.
Since 2009, The V Foundation for Cancer Research has supported The Gastric Cancer Foundation with its established infrastructure for scientific evaluation, grant management and oversight, and financial administration. This has created a powerful partnership for both organizations to achieve their common goal of fighting cancer. We are grateful for their support.
The Gastric Cancer Foundation thanks the following corporations that have contributed to the fight against stomach cancer.
Wayne Feinstein, Chairman of the Board
Wayne Feinstein was named Gastric Cancer Foundation (GCF) Chairman of the Board in March 2013. He currently serves as senior vice president and investment counselor for Capital Group Client Services and vice president of Capital Guardian Trust Company, a Nevada Corporation. Prior to joining Capital Group in 2001, he was chief executive officer (CEO) of GrantConnect.
Wayne has a robust history of more than 20 years leading large nonprofit organizations, overseeing the development and investment of endowment funds totaling more than $1 billion. In addition, Wayne served as CEO of various Jewish Community Federations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit over the period of 18 years. Currently, Wayne also serves on the boards of the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and The Arthur Szyk Society.
Wayne holds a master’s of art degree from Hebrew Union College, a bachelor’s of art from Colgate University and a professional designation in financial planning from the University of California at Berkeley.
James Ford, MD
James Ford, MD, associate professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Genetics, and director, Stanford Program for Clinical Cancer Genetics, is a medical oncologist and geneticist at Stanford University Medical Center.
Dr. Ford's is developing techniques for high-throughput genomic analyses of cancer to identify molecular signatures for targeted therapies. His focus is to understand the role of genetic changes in cancer genes in the risk and development of common cancers. He discovered that the p53 and BRCA1 tumor suppressor genes regulate DNA repair, and has developed novel assays to examine DNA repair activity in primary human tissues.
Dr. Ford's honors and awards include the Etta S. Chidsey Award in Cancer Research from the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar Award, Doris Duke Foundation Clinical Scientist Award in Cancer Etiology and Pathogenesis, Burroughs-Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award in Toxicology, and the V Foundation Translational Research Award. Dr. Ford is an editor for the journals Cancer Research and DNA Repair, is on the scientific review committee for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, and a council member for the California Breast Cancer Research Program.
Dr. Ford holds his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and a bachelor’s of science in biology - Magna Cum Laude in Biology, also from Yale University. He has served as intern and resident of Internal Medicine, clinical fellow in Medical Oncology, research fellow of Biological Sciences, assistant professor of Medicine (oncology) and Genetics, director of the Stanford Oncology Fellowship Training Program, and director of the Stanford Cancer Genetics Clinic, at the Stanford University Medical Center.
Hossein A. Ghanbari, Ph.D.
Hossein A. Ghanbari, Ph.D., joined the GCF Board of Directors in May 2013. He is co-founder, CEO, chief scientific officer and chairman of the board of Panacea Pharmaceuticals, which has developed tests for prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Prior to Panacea, Dr. Ghanbari helped establish Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation where he served as senior vice president, R&D and Strategic Planning, and on the company board. Before Nymox, he founded Molecular Geriatrics Corporation, focused on developing medicines for neurodegenerative diseases. He began his private sector career with nearly 10 years at Abbott Laboratories, where he developed several pharmaceuticals and the first ever commercialized diagnostic test for Alzheimer's Disease (AD).
Currently, Dr. Ghanbari serves as adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Previously, he has held professorships at Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida, and Arya-Mehr University of Technology (now Sharif University).
Dr. Ghanbari’s additional board appointments are the Scientific Advisory Board of the Initial Training Network (ITN) - a European 7th framework program; Smart Medical Technologies, Inc.; and as Chairman, Hygea BioPharma, Inc.
Dr. Ghanbari holds both a doctorate and a master’s degree in Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s of science, with distinction, from the American University in Beirut. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, and is an inventor on more than 60 patents and patent applications .
Paul Gottsegen brings an impressive blend of business acumen and marketing knowledge from his 25 year career in international business and marketing with some of the most successful global technology companies. He is currently Senior VP, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer for Mindtree, a global information technology solutions company. He has a personal connection to GCF through a close friendship with JP Gallagher, GCF's founder and previous chairman of the board.
Following his role as one of the original team members of the server division at Compaq, Paul managed the North American server business. He met JP at Compaq, and being JP's senior by seven years, Paul became JP's mentor and close friend. Years later, they worked together again at Panasas. Paul served as Chief Marketing Officer with Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions, until the end of September 2013.
Paul's passion and dedication to GCF are as impressive as his career. He is inspired to use his professional skills to increase visibility for the organization, serve as a sounding board for communications and to support the mission of fighting stomach cancer through research and understanding the disease. We will look to Paul to help us reach the next level of visibility, strategic relationships and initiatives to support our goal of curing stomach cancer.
David Grogan is the retired founder and CEO of Toter, Incorporated. Prior to starting Toter, David was the vice president and general manager of the Rotational Molding Division of Rubbermaid, Incorporated. Before serving as general manager, David held several marketing and sales management positions at Rubbermaid.
In addition to a successful business career, David has dedicated considerable time to non-profit organizations throughout North Carolina. David currently serves as chairman of Iredell Memorial Health Systems and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Piedmont. He is a board member of the Foundation for the Carolinas-Iredell, Fort Ticonderoga NY Historical Site.
David holds a master’s of business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s of art degree from Washington and Lee University.
K. Alice Leung
K. Alice Leung joined GCF Board of Directors in April 2013. Alice brings a wealth of biotech industry knowledge and cancer drug development experience to the Foundation.
As the Founder and Principal of Sapientiae, a biotech management consulting firm, Alice advises public and private biotech companies in corporate strategy, clinical and commercial development; as well as expert support for public and private investors. Prior to founding Sapientiae, she served as president and chief executive officer of Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in the Bay Area.
Prior to Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., Alice was the vice president, general manager of Oncology with Berlex (the US subsidiary of Schering AG, now Bayer), where she was a member of the executive committee and oversaw ongoing operations and future development of the oncology business, among other responsibilities. She joined Berlex after a long tenure with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), culminating in the role of vice president, Worldwide Licensing and External Development. She currently serves as the co-chair, Membership Committee for the San Francisco chapter of Women in Biotech, as well as a member of the Life Sciences Screening Committee for Springboard Enterprises.
Alice holds a master’s of business administration from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and a bachelor’s from the University of Western Ontario.
Hans Rueffert is an acclaimed chef, author, educator, television producer and gastric cancer survivor. Shortly after finishing third in the Next Food Network Star television series in 2005, Hans was diagnosed with stage three stomach cancer. He lost most of his stomach and esophagus to the disease, but is currently cancer free. In addition to his time on the Food Network, Hans has hosted and produced several cooking shows throughout the south, most notably, Hans Cooks the World and Hans Cooks the South.
After his diagnosis, Hans published Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow, a cookbook that includes a collection of original recipes, photographs and narratives. In the book, he shares his story about his own stomach cancer in addition to thoughts on healthy eating, optimism and life. In his personal life, Hans mentors people with stomach cancer through both the MD Anderson Network and Imerman Angels. He also teaches regularly at the Cancer Wellness Center at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
Hans holds a master’s of art degree in Hospitality Management from Georgia State University.
Ron Weintraub is the retired president and CEO of Communication Skill Builders, a distributor and publisher of educational materials used worldwide by speech and language clinicians and occupational and physical therapists. His prior career was with EF Hutton & Co, the stockbrokers.
His national non-profit officer and/or board member experience includes the American Speech and Hearing Foundation, the Yes I Can! Foundation for Exceptional Children, the Business Mailers Group, and Parents of North American Israelis. In his hometown of Tucson, Arizona, Ron’s experience includes the Palo Verde Foundation for Mental Health, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Foundation of Southern Arizona.
Ron holds a bachelor’s of science degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
One of his children, Beth (Weintraub) Schoenfeld died of gastric cancer in 2010.
JP Gallagher, Founding Chair (1969-2013)
JP Gallagher lost his battle with gastric cancer on February 26, 2013. JP was a passionate crusader for finding a cure for stomach cancer, as well as a compassionate support to others who are touched by the disease. He will be deeply missed, and in his honor, GCF will continue on the path he blazed for us.
JP founded GCF following his initial diagnosis in 2007. He brought a wealth of for-profit and non-profit experience to his organizational leadership. Professionally, he served in senior marketing positions at NetApp, Panasas Inc., and Compaq Computer Corporation. In the non-profit sector, he served as chair and board member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC): Southwest. He also volunteered with The Volunteer Center, Habitat for Humanity and Houston Area Women’s Shelter.
JP held a master’s of business administration with concentrations in marketing and public/non-profit management from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University and a bachelor’s of arts in sociology from Gonzaga University.