A study to find genetic causes of stomach cancer (Familial Cancer Gastric Study)

Cancer type:

Stomach cancer





This study is looking at genetic causes of stomach cancer in people with a family history of the disease or who were diagnosed under 40 years old.

More about this trial

There are many risk factors associated with stomach cancer (gastric cancer). They include infection with a bug called Helicobacter pylori, other medical conditions and possibly having a family history of stomach cancer.

Researchers think some people may have an inherited genetic fault that increases their risk of developing stomach cancer. In this study, the research team would like to try and find out more about:
  • the different causes of stomach cancer 
  • how best to treat people who are affected by them
In particular, the researchers want to try and identify people who have a type of stomach cancer called ‘Diffuse Gastric Cancer’ and who have inherited the CDH1 genetic mutation. A mutation happens when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene.   
Some people may have a family history of gastric cancer but do not have the mutation in the CDH1 gene. For these people the research team would like to try and search for new genes which may help us understand the disease better.        

Who can enter

You can enter this study if one of the following applies.


  • have two or more people in your family who have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, they are first or second degree relatives, and one was diagnosed with diffuse stomach cancer at any age
  • were diagnosed with diffuse stomach cancer under the age of 40, even if you don't have a family history of stomach cancer
  • or a relative have been diagnosed with diffuse stomach cancer and lobular breast cancer, and one was diagnosed under the age of 50
  • have a strong family history of stomach cancer or breast cancer even if it was not possible to confirm this with tissue samples (biopsies). However, the study team will decide this in each individual case. 

Please note; your relatives diagnosed with cancer must be on the same side of the family. A first degree relative is a parent, brother, sister or child. A second degree relative is an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or grandparent, for example.

Trial design

If you qualify and would like to take part in this study, one of the research team will arrange to ask you a few questions about your own and your family’s medical history. This will either be over the phone, by email or by post, whichever you prefer.

The study team may ask you if your relatives would be happy to also take part in the study. The more information they collect, the better the results will be.

They will ask you or your genetic counsellor, if you have one, to provide them with a detailed family history. The research team may also like to look at a sample of your (or your relative’s) cancer. This will have been stored by the hospital at the time of the investigation or operation. With your permission, the team will contact the hospital about this and request a copy of the biopsy results just to double check the diagnosis of everyone taking part in the trial.

Samples for research
The research team will ask you for a saliva sample. They will send you a kit in the post with instructions, so you can do this at home. If you are visiting the hospital for a clinic appointment or investigation, then the research team may ask you to give a blood sample instead. Some people may have a family history of gastric cancer but do not have the mutation in the CDH1 gene or may not have been offered genetic testing.  For these people the research team plan to look for new genes to help understand the disease better.  

Quality of life 
If you have the CDH1 mutation the study team will ask you to fill out a questionnaire before your endoscopy. The questionnaire will ask about how you’ve been feeling. This is called a quality of life study. They hope that this will help to improve understanding of this condition. As well as the impact of genetic testing, endoscopy and preventative surgery on people’s physical and mental wellbeing and health, and their quality of life.

Research endoscopy
The study team may also offer you a specialist research endoscopy which will be done in Cambridge. An endoscopy is a test to look inside your body. Your doctor uses a long flexible tube (endoscope) with a tiny camera and light on the end to look inside your stomach. They check the stomach for growths or abnormal looking areas.

Hospital visits

The study team may wish to see you in the clinic at the hospital in Cambridge before organising a research endoscopy or if you wish to discuss having preventative surgery. You have the research endoscopy in Cambridge. How often you have one depends on the results and the study team can tell you more about this. 

Side effects

Blood samples may cause momentary discomfort and occasional bruising. Where possible you have the research blood sample at the same time as any routine blood samples or at the research endoscopy.
There are well known risks linked with having an endoscopy and your doctor will talk you through these risks and check that you are fit to have the procedure. You may experience discomfort or bloating during the procedure and, have a sore throat afterwards.
We have more information about:




Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Cambridge Cancer Centre
Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust
University of Cambridge

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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