Targeted therapies in gastric cancer and future perspectives

Yazici O., ŞENDUR M. A. N., Ozdemir N., AKSOY S.

WORLD JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY, vol.22, no.2, pp.471-489, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i2.471
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-489
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Advanced gastric cancer (AGC) is associated with a high mortality rate and, despite multiple new chemotherapy options, the survival rates of patients with AGC remains poor. After the discovery of targeted therapies, research has focused on the new treatment options for AGC. In the last two decades, many targeted molecules were developed against AGC. Currently, two targeted therapy molecules have been approved for patients with AGC. In 2010, trastuzumab was the first molecule shown to improve survival in patients with HER2-positive AGC as part of a first-line combination regimen. In 2014, ramucirumab was the second targeted molecule to improve survival rates and was suggested as treatment for patients with AGC who had progressed after first-line platinum plus fluoropyrimidine with or without anthracycline chemotherapy. Ramucirumab was the first targeted therapy acting as a single agent in patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancers. Although these two molecules were introduced into clinical use, many other promising molecules have been tested in phase I - II trials. It is obvious that in the near future many different targeted therapies will be in use for treatment of AGC. In this review, the current status of targeted therapies in the treatment of AGC and gastroesophageal junction tumors, including HER (2-3) inhibitors, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, antiangiogenic agents, c-MET inhibitors, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, agents against other molecular pathways fibroblast growth factor, Claudins, insulin-like growth factor, heat shock proteins, and immunotherapy, will be discussed.