BioScience Trends. 2016;10(3):171-180. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2016.01078)

Predictive biomarkers for targeted and cytotoxic agents in gastric cancer for personalized medicine.

Wang SL, Yuan LW


Gastric cancer (GC) is the fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer. The treatment of GC remains challenging as the outcomes achieved with surgery alone or adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy are relatively poor. New treatment strategies are emerging and are being tested in solid tumors including GC. Over the past few years, the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) has made great advances, but strategies to manage GC have improved little. Multiple drug resistance is common in GC chemotherapy and targeted therapy; some patients appear to receive treatment that is suboptimal or even inefficacious. Unfortunately, there are few validated predictive biomarkers to guide the tailored treatment of GC. ToGA and AVAGAST are two phase III trials that tested the efficacy and safety of targeted agents in advanced gastric cancer (AGC), and results clearly indicated that patients need to be selected and that targeted agents are the best hope for better results. This review aims to provide an overview of potential predictive biomarkers for cytotoxic and targeted agents in GC.

KEYWORDS: Gastric cancer, biomarkers, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, personalized medicine, predictive marker

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