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Molecular Biomarkers in Gastric Cancer

Elena Elimova, Roopma Wadhwa, Hironori Shiozaki, Kazuki Sudo, Jeannelyn S. Estrella, Brian D. Badgwell, Prajnan Das, Aurelio Matamoros Jr, Shumei Song, and Jaffer A. Ajani

Gastric cancer (GC) represents a serious health problem on a global scale. Despite some recent advances in the field, the prognosis in metastatic GC remains poor. Even in localized disease the adjunctive therapies improve overall survival (OS) by only approximately 10%. A better understanding of molecular biology, which would lead to improved treatment options, is needed and is the basis for this review. Many potential biomarkers of prognostic significance have been identified, including ALDH, SHH, Sox9, HER2, EGFR, VEGF, Hippo/YAP, and MET. However, inhibition of only HER2 protein has led to a modest survival benefit. A new approach to GC treatment, which is a disease influenced by inflammation, is the exploitation of the immune system to fight disease. Two interesting targets/prognostic markers that bear further investigation in GC are PD1 and PDL, particularly given their success in the treatment of other inflammation/immune-associated malignancies.