Published online Oct 7, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i37.6165
Revised: July 25, 2013
Accepted: August 12, 2013
Published online: October 7, 2013
Gastric cancer usually is diagnosed in advanced stages and thus current medical practice affords limited therapeutic options. However, recent studies established the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) in clinical management. Trastuzumab, an anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody, acquired a main role in advanced gastric cancer harboring HER2 overexpression and/or amplification improving survival to 17.1 mo according to trastuzumab for gastric cancer phase III trial results. Also, new promising drugs, such as c-Met inhibitors, are in development and assessment for this setting. Certainly, novel drugs will emerge in the next feel years for help oncologists improve clinical management of advanced gastric cancer providing higher survival and quality of life. In this mini-review we will discuss some issues in this regard and provide an actual overview of this setting.
Core tip: Approaches for treatment advanced gastric cancer are object of interesting debates toward scientific community worldwide over the last 20 years. Chemotherapy based on platinum and fluoropirimidine agents remained up to now the standard of care for those patients, otherwise triplet therapy either an anthracycline or taxane may be considered. Herein we provide an additional discussion regarding the role of biologic agents, such as trastuzumab and novel therapies for improve survival in this field.