South Korea and Japan have the highest stomach cancer incidence rates worldwide. Using 1988-2012 data from the California Cancer Registry, we have previously reported a striking stomach cancer disparity in Korean Americans, marked by 5 times higher incidence than in non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) and two times higher incidence than in Japanese Americans, the racial/ethnic group with the second highest incidence. The majority of Korean American adults were born in Korea while the majority of Japanese Americans adults were born in the US. Although Korean Americans had a more favorable stage distribution than other Californians in our earlier study, Korean Americans had a worse stage distribution compared to populations in Korea or Japan, where population-based screening is available. Data from South Korea demonstrated benefits of screening endoscopy in improving stage at diagnosis as well as mortality from stomach cancer. Bi-annual stomach cancer screening is now recommended for South Korean adults aged 40 or above, with an estimated participation rate of 75%. The United States lacks well-defined stomach cancer screening guidelines. In this study, we used the 2010-2014 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data and compared stage distribution in Korean Americans in Los Angeles County, other areas in California, and SEER regions outside California. The proportion of early stage disease was highest in Korean Americans in Los Angeles County (49%), followed by other areas in California (41%) and SEER regions outside California (36%). The earlier diagnosis in Los Angeles County compared to other SEER regions was not observed for Japanese Americans or NHWs. It is reasonable to speculate that the increased public and physician awareness particularly in areas with a large Korean community helped Korean Americans somewhat overcome the disparity coming from the high incidence. However, the proportion of localized disease among Los Angeles County Korean Americans was still much lower than the proportion in Korea during the same time period (60-66%), indicating the need for targeted screening or well-defined guidelines for diagnostic endoscopy. Dissemination of these cancer registry findings led to a collaborative partnership between a number of Korean American community physician organizations and Los Angeles County SEER cancer registry, the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, establishing the ‘Asian American Stomach Cancer Task Force’ (AASCTF). The overarching goal of AASCTF is to reduce stomach cancer disparity in Korean Americans and other immigrants from high risk regions by promoting stomach endoscopy through community campaign and supporting research activities to help the medical community and policy makers to make evidence-based decisions.

Citation Format: Eunjung Lee, Juanjuan Zhang, Sohee Park, Amie E. Hwang, Lihua Liu, Haeseong Park, Sang-Hoon Ahn, Anna H. Wu, Dennis Deapen. Community and cancer registry collaboration to reduce persistent stomach cancer disparity in Korean Americans: Asian American Stomach Cancer Task Force [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019; 2019 Mar 29-Apr 3; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 4182.