Published online May 7, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i17.2029
Peer-review started: March 19, 2019
First decision: March 27, 2019
Revised: April 3, 2019
Accepted: April 19, 2019
Article in press: April 20, 2019
Published online: May 7, 2019
Gastric cancer (GC) remains an important cause of cancer death worldwide with a high mortality rate due to the fact that the majority of GC cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prognosis is poor and the treatment options are limited. Unfortunately, the existing circulating biomarkers for GC diagnosis and prognosis display low sensitivity and specificity and the GC diagnosis is based only on the invasive procedures such as upper digestive endoscopy. There is a huge need for less invasive or non-invasive tests but also highly specific biomarkers in case of GC. Body fluids such as peripheral blood, urine or saliva, stomach wash/gastric juice could be a source of specific biomarkers, providing important data for screening and diagnosis in GC. This review summarized the recently discovered circulating molecules such as microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, circular RNAs, which hold the promise to develop new strategies for early diagnosis of GC.
Core tip: Despite the fact that in the last decades, gastric cancer (GC) has shown a decreasing incidence, the five-year survival rate continues to remain poor mainly because most patients are asymptomatic until the disease progresses to advanced stages. Recent progress in molecular landscape of GC and improved detection methods may facilitate screening and diagnosis of GC in early stages. Numerous studies aim to identify specific non-invasive biomarkers from alternative sources such as peripheral blood, urine or saliva, stomach wash/gastric juice. This review summarized the recently discovered circulating molecules which hold the promise to develop new strategies for early diagnosis of GC.