Current treatment and recent progress in gastric cancer

Smita S Joshi, Brian D Badgwell
CA: a Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2021 February 16
Gastric cancer is not a top-10 malignancy in the United States but represents one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide. Biological differences between tumors from Eastern and Western countries add to the complexity of identifying standard-of-care therapy based on international trials. Systemic chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy all have proven efficacy in gastric adenocarcinoma; therefore, multidisciplinary treatment is paramount to treatment selection. Triplet chemotherapy for resectable gastric cancer is now accepted and could represent a plateau of standard cytotoxic chemotherapy for localized disease. Classification of gastric cancer based on molecular subtypes is providing an opportunity for personalized therapy. Biomarkers, in particular microsatellite instability (MSI), programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), tumor mutation burden, and Epstein-Barr virus, are increasingly driving systemic therapy approaches and allowing for the identification of populations most likely to benefit from immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Significant research opportunities remain for the less differentiated histologic subtypes of gastric adenocarcinoma and those without markers of immunotherapy activity.

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