Published online Jun 21, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i23.2781
Revised: July 20, 2010
Accepted: July 27, 2010
Published online: June 21, 2011
Cancer treatments are rapidly changing. Curative treatment for oesophageal adenocarcinoma currently involves surgery and cytotoxic chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Outcomes for both regimes are generally poor as a result of tumor recurrence. We have reviewed the key signalling pathways associated with oesophageal adenocarcinomas and discussed the recent trials of novel agents that attempt to target these pathways. There are many trials underway with the aim of improving survival in oesophageal cancer. Currently, phase 2 and 3 trials are focused on MAP kinase inhibition, either through inhibition of growth factor receptors or signal transducer proteins. In order to avoid tumor resistance, it appears to be clear that targeted therapy will be needed to combat the multiple signalling pathways that are in operation in oesophageal adenocarcinomas. This may be achievable in the future with the advent of gene signatures and a combinatorial approach.