Latest developments and emerging treatment options in the management of stomach cancer
Medical Oncology Department, Jolimont Hospital, Haine-Saint-Paul, Belgium
Abstract: Gastric cancer remains a significant health burden worldwide. Most of these malignancies are diagnosed at an advanced stage and are associated with a grim prognosis. Complete removal of macroscopic and microscopic tumor masses along with regional lymphnodes (R0 surgical resection) represents the treatment of choice in localized, nonmetastatic gastric cancer. Chemotherapy, either alone as a perioperative treatment, or in combination with radiation therapy in an adjuvant setting, improves the clinical outcome for patients with resectable tumors. In patients suffering from metastatic disease, chemotherapy and the so-called targeted therapies play a major role in improving survival and quality of life compared with best supportive care. The emergence of new drugs as well as new administration schedules allow physicians to obtain an objective response of up to 60% and, since the utilization of targeted therapies, overall survival has reached 14 months. In order to situate the standard of care and the latest developments in gastric malignancies better, the pertinent English literature, including major Phase III randomized studies and meta-analyses, has been reviewed.
Keywords: gastric cancer, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies
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