Gastroesophageal cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, and while effective treatments exist to control it, unfortunately only 1 in 10 patients diagnosed will beat the disease. The rate has been rising in the UK over the last 40 years and the rate of gastroesophageal cancer in Scotland is amongst the highest in the world. For these reasons, research to determine the causes and find better treatments are a medical priority.

The research team at the University of Aberdeen is supported by the fundraising efforts of GASTROCAN and focuses on gastroesophegal cancer. Their work involves clinical trials of the latest new targeted drugs for the disease as well as ‘bench to bedside’ laboratory research aiming to translate scientific breakthroughs into effective treatments. The clinical trials allow patients in the region to receive the latest and best treatments and the laboratory research helps to build on this best practice by finding the new more effective treatments of the future.

GASTROCAN is the only appeal raising money specifically for research into stomach and oesophageal cancer. All funds donated to the GASTROCAN appeal are used to support local research efforts into this devastating disease to benefit local patients and enable the University of Aberdeen to lead national and international research projects.

The main aims of GASTROCAN include:

  • Undertaking internationally important cancer research locally in the north of Scotland
  • Enabling local patients to benefit from the latest cutting edge treatments for gastric and oesophageal cancer
  • Helping to recruit the best doctors and researchers to work in the north of Scotland
  • Raising awareness of gastric and oesophageal cancer so that patients recognise the symptoms and seek medical help earlier

There are many ways to support GASTROCAN and to find out more please contact Lynne Black, Community Stewardship Officer on 01224 272087 or email

If you have a sponsored event in mind you can download a sponsor form here.


At the age of 59 I decided to take part in the Run Balmoral 10K race for the first time in memory of my husband Roy whom I had lost to oesophageal cancer a few months earlier. I had never done anything like this in the past so this was a whole new venture for me.


Roy was diagnosed in January 2011 and passed away in November 2012. During that time he went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy and also took part in clinical trials. During 2012 we were attending Aberdeen Royal Infirmary anything from one to three times a week and when Roy passed away my life felt empty in so many ways. I missed Roy tremendously but strangely I missed the staff at the hospital too, I had grown quite fond of many of our regular nurses and medical professionals.


Roy was always eager to take part in any trials offered saying “if it doesn’t help me it might help someone else”, so needless to say I feel I have to carry this on by helping raise fund for cancer research through GASTROCAN.


I was talking to the girls at work about Run Balmoral saying GASTROCAN was one of the nominated charities. They spurred me on to sign up to take part and when I agreed another two decided to join in. Once I had signed up I had something to focus on which helped me through some very dark times. If I was feeling down I would just put on the trainers and walk. It soon lifted my spirits being out in the fresh air and now I feel so much fitter. I arrived for the first time feeling quite nervous but once I got going I really got into the atmosphere. The buzz I got going over that finishing line was like nothing I can put into words. I had a fantastic day and I know Roy would have been proud of my achievement, especially with the money that will continue to help other people who find themselves in the same situation he was in.

I have taken part in every Run Balmoral 10K every year since and through that, and various other fundraising events I have organised, I have raised for the University's cancer research through GASTROCAN. 

I would recommend anyone to get involved, try something new. It really helped me get through that first few months, I’m sure it can help you too.