Stupid Strong awards its first research grant to fund the development of a liquid biopsy test for microRNA biomarkers

DALLAS, Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Stupid Strong, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds for gastric cancer, is awarding its first research grant of $151,974 to fund a proposal for the development of micro-RNA biomarkers for the early detection of patients with gastric cancer. The three year study is focused on the development of less invasive, accurate tests to detect gastric cancer early at a time when the disease is still treatable. Principal investigator, Dr. Ajay Goel, Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Research and Director, Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention & Cancer Genomics with Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, intends to conduct research on the use of circulating biomarkers in the bloodstream, which could lead to a minimally invasive “liquid biopsy” to detect this deadly form of cancer. Since the process of carcinogenesis is driven by the development of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, measuring changes in the genome using biomarkers is a means to achieve the goal of early detection.

Stupid Strong is pleased to provide support to Baylor Health Care System Foundation for the proposed research study to identify a panel of micro-RNA biomarkers in blood that may be used for early detection of gastric cancer.

“With already low five year survival rates compounded by a trend of increased diagnoses in younger Americans,  we believe this project can have a definitive and high impact in transforming the clinical practice for noninvasive screening in patients with gastric cancer,” said Candace Netzer, gastric cancer survivor and President of Stupid Strong. “Dr. Goel understands the importance of this research and will be a fantastic advocate for patients worldwide.”

Dr. Ajay Goel has spent the last 10 years studying gastric cancer. Dr. Goel has long-standing interest in understanding the pathogenesis of colorectal and gastric cancer, and developing strategies for its primary and secondary prevention. Currently, one of the primary focuses of  the research program is cancer prevention through development of robust molecular biomarkers that can facilitate early diagnosis, better prognosis or predict response to chemotherapies for human cancer, particularly gastric cancer.

“I am honored at the opportunity to contribute to Stupid Strong’s vision of advancing research toward better diagnosis, treatment and the eventual cure of gastric cancer,” said Dr. Goel.

exosome rnaThe three-year grant term began on December  31, 2015. Stupid Strong conducts numerous community-based events to raise funds for research for early diagnosis and treatment options available for stomach cancer patients. To participate in these important events, promote awareness, and provide support services to gastric cancer patients and their families, visit

Candace Netzer, President and Founder of Stupid Strong, was diagnosed with Stage III stomach cancer in 2014 and founded the organization that same year. Stupid Strong seeks as its ultimate goal to put an end to gastric cancer.

“We have been working diligently to find the right collaborator to conduct this critical research and we are thrilled to now fund gastric cancer research directly by incubating Dr. Goel’s innovative program,” said Candace Netzer. “With this commitment, we are achieving our organization’s vision, and we are one step closer to our ultimate goal of making the cure for gastric cancer a reality.”

About Stupid Strong:
Stupid Strong is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing funding for research, and providing education and support to families in need. Stupid Strong exists for the purpose of making the cure for stomach cancer a reality. Learn more at

About Baylor Health Care System Foundation:
Baylor Health Care System Foundation, a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, raises and manages charitable funds to support Baylor Health Care System and its charitable affiliates. Since the Foundation was established in 1978, it has distributed more than $500 million to Baylor.

Source – PRNewswire

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