Published online Jan 21, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i3.290
Revised: August 9, 2010
Accepted: August 16, 2010
Published online: January 21, 2011
Gastric cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, although the incidence has gradually decreased in many Western countries. Two main gastric cancer histotypes, intestinal and diffuse, are recognised. Although most of the described genetic alterations have been observed in both types, different genetic pathways have been hypothesized. Genetic and epigenetic events, including 1q loss of heterozygosity (LOH), microsatellite instability and hypermethylation, have mostly been reported in intestinal-type gastric carcinoma and its precursor lesions, whereas 17p LOH, mutation or loss of E-cadherin are more often implicated in the development of diffuse-type gastric cancer. In this review, we summarize the sometimes contradictory findings regarding those markers which influence the progression of gastric adenocarcinoma.