Engaging patients in improving nutrition for people with stomach cancer

An integrated team of patients, clinicians and scientists, led by Dr Natalie Coburn is examining nutritional support and guidelines to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for people with stomach cancer. 

Nutrition and diet are two of the biggest issues that people with stomach cancer face every day. Up to 85% of them are diagnosed with poor nutrition and experience difficulties such as poor appetite and nutrient absorption, blockage of the bowels, and symptoms such as nausea, bloating and pain. Chemotherapy and surgery can compound these issues, resulting in further muscle and weight loss. These challenges can negatively impact a person’s quality of life and interfere with their treatment. 

Although there are general nutritional guidelines for cancer, they are not specific to the unique needs of someone with stomach cancer. Guided by the preferences and experiences of people with stomach cancer and with funding from the Canadian Cancer Society, this research team aims to address this gap. With team members across Canada and the United States, including 6 patient partners, the team aims to understand the unique challenges and dietary needs of people with stomach cancer and create a set of tailored nutritional guidelines that will improve quality of life and lead to better treatment outcomes in the very near future.  

Total Amount Awarded over 5 years: $ 1,363,059.70

Team Members

Principal Investigator
Natalie Coburn
Sunnybrook Research Institute

Photo of Natalie Coburn

Co-Principal Investigators

Christine Brezden-Masley
University of Toronto
Photo of Christine Brezden-Masley

Elena Elimova
University of Toronto
Photo of Elena Elimova

Denise Gabrielson
St. Michael's Hospital

Photo of Denise Gabrielson

Vaibhav Gupta
Western University

Photo of Vaibhav Gupta

Biniam Kidane
University of Manitoba

Photo of Biniam Kidane

Belinda Lean, BC Cancer Vancouver Centre

Howard Lim
University of British Columbia
Photo of Howard Lim

Farhana Shariff
University of Manitoba
Photo of Farhana-Shariff

Stephanie Snow
Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (NS)

Photo of Stephanie Snow

  • Melyssa Aronson, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Mai-Kim Gervais, Hopital Malsonneuve
  • Julie Hallet, University of Toronto
  • Alex Mathieson, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Daniel Schiller, University of Alberta
  • Frances Wright, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Patients, Survivors and Caregivers
  • Yoram Birenzweig
  • Ekaterina Kosyachkova, My Gut Feeling Stomach Cancer Foundation of Canada
  • Lianne Mantla, My Gut Feeling Stomach Cancer Foundation of Canada
  • Lina Miranda, My Gut Feeling Stomach Cancer Foundation of Canada
  • Teresa Tiano, My Gut Feeling Stomach Cancer Foundation of Canada
  • Monica Yuen, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Carl Brown, St. Paul's Hospital
  • Erin Kennedy, University of Toronto
  • Paul Mansfield, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Carolyn Nessim, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Team Geography

Team members from 7 provinces and 1 territory, as well as 1 US state (Texas)