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Message from Congress President

寺島 雅典

Congress President,
The 91st Annual Meeting of The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association
Masanori Terashima, M.D., Ph.D., FACS
(Division of Gastric Surgery, Shizuoka Cancer Center)

The 91st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association will be held during the three-day period from Wednesday, February 27 to Friday, March 1, 2019, in Plaza Verde in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The theme of this JGCA Annual Meeting will be “Equalization and Centralization.” Although the prevalence of gastric cancer is decreasing year by year, it remains the second most common cancer in Japan, with 130 thousand patients per year of whom 47,000 die. Gastric cancer has been recognized as Japan’s “national disease,” and is treated in clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Equalization to ensure that treatment of the same quality is available in every part of Japan is thus essential. The JGCA has contributed to such equalization in the past by issuing guidelines and other measures. We must continue to support improvements in equalization in future.

However, it has been suggested that the prevalence of gastric cancer will have decreased rapidly 25 years from now, mainly due to the eradication of Helicobacter pylori. At the same time, the introduction of gastric cancer treatments such as robot surgery and immune checkpoint inhibitors may make treatment both more sophisticated and more complicated. It will therefore be necessary to steer a course toward the centralization of gastric cancer treatment after a certain stage.

At this Annual Meeting, we will take up issues in current and future gastric cancer research and treatment from this perspective. The JGCA is a cross-disciplinary association, and all researchers and clinicians concerned with gastric cancer are welcome to attend and join in the discussion. I look forward to debates that encompass a wide range of viewpoints.

I am aware that opinion is divided on the internationalization of the JGCA. Japan has taken a pioneering role in research on and the treatment of gastric cancer. However, it is questionable whether we have continued to disseminate the fruits of this work sufficiently worldwide. I hope that young doctors and researchers in particular will actively give presentations and take part in discussions, in order to maintain and extend Japanese collaboration with the global community.

I apologize to participants for the fact that transport links to the venue are not particularly convenient. However, I will do my utmost to ensure that it is a fruitful meeting. Thank you for your support and assistance.