Background: While the incidence of esophageal and gastric cancers is increasing, the prognosis of these cancers remains bleak. Endoscopy and surgery are the standard treatments for localized tumors, but multimodal treatments, associated chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are needed for the vast majority of patients who present with locally advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis. Although survival has improved, most patients still present with advanced disease at diagnosis. In addition, most patients exhibit a poor or incomplete response to treatment, experience early recurrence and have an impaired quality of life. Compared with several other cancers, the therapeutic approach is not personalized, and research is much less developed. It is, therefore, urgent to hasten the development of research protocols, and consequently, develop a large, ambitious and innovative tool through which future scientific questions may be answered. This research must be patient-related so that rapid feedback to the bedside is achieved and should aim to identify clinical-, biological- and tumor-related factors that are associated with treatment resistance. Finally, this research should also seek to explain epidemiological and social facets of disease behavior.
Methods: The prospective FREGAT database, established by the French National Cancer Institute, is focused on adult patients with carcinomas of the esophagus and stomach and on whatever might be the tumor stage or therapeutic strategy. The database includes epidemiological, clinical, and tumor characteristics data as well as follow-up, human and social sciences quality of life data, along with a tumor and serum bank.
Discussion: This innovative method of research will allow for the banking of millions of data for the development of excellent basic, translational and clinical research programs for esophageal and gastric cancer. This will ultimately improve general knowledge of these diseases, therapeutic strategies and patient survival. This database was initially developed in France on a nationwide basis, but currently, the database is available for worldwide contributions with respect to the input of patient data or the request for data for scientific projects.
Trial registration: The FREGAT database has a dedicated website ( www.fregat-database.org ) and is registered on the Clinicaltrials.gov site, number NCT 02526095 , since August 8, 2015.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02526095.
Keywords: Biobank; Clinico-biological database; Epidemiology; Esophageal cancer; FREGAT; Gastric cancer; Human and social sciences; Quality of life; Research.