Targeted Therapy in Advanced Gastric Carcinoma: The Future is Beginning

Author(s): G. Schinzari, A. Cassano, A. Orlandi, M. Basso, C. Barone

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 21 , Issue 8 , 2014

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Gastric cancer represents one of the most common cancer worldwide. Unfortunately, the majority of patients present in advanced stage and outcome still remains poor with high mortality rate despite decreasing incidence and new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Although utility of classical chemotherapy agents has been widely explored, advances have been slow and the efficacy of these agents has reached a plateau of median overall survival not higher than 12 months. Therefore, researchers focused their attention on better understanding molecular biology of carcinogenesis and deeper knowledge of the cancer cell phenotype, as well on development of rationally designed drugs that would target specific molecular aberrancies in signal transduction pathways. These targets include cell surface receptors, circulating growth and angiogenic factors and other molecules involved in downstream intracellular signaling pathways, including receptor tyrosine kinases. However, therapeutic advances in gastric cancer are not so encouraging when compared to other solid organ malignancies such as breast and colorectal cancer. This article reviews the role of targeted agents in gastric cancer as single-agent therapy or in combination regimens, including their rational and emerging mechanism of action, current and emerging data. We focused our attention mainly on published phase III studies, therefore cornerstone clinical trials with trastuzumab and bevacizumab have been largely discussed. Phase III studies presented in important international meetings are also reviewed as well phase II published studies and promising new therapies investigated in preclinical or phase I studies. Today, in first-line treatment only trastuzumab has shown significantly increased survival in combination with chemotherapy, whereas ramucirumab as single agent resulted effective in progressing patients, but - despite several disappointing results - these are the proof of principle that targeting the proper molecular aberration is the best way for implementing outcome of therapy.

Keywords: c-MET, EGFR, gastric cancer, HER-2, mTOR, VEGF.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [1026 - 1038]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/0929867321666131129124054
Price: $65

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