, Volume 135, Issue 7, pp 855-866
Date: 11 Apr 2009

Gastric cancer in the era of molecularly targeted agents: current drug development strategies

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Abstract

Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide with approximately one million cases diagnosed annually. Despite considerable improvements in surgical techniques, innovations in clinical diagnostics and the development of new chemotherapy regimens, the clinical outcome for patients with advanced gastric cancer and cancer of the GEJ is generally poor with 5-year survival rates ranging between 5 and 15%. The understanding of cancer relevant events has resulted in new therapeutic strategies, particularly in developing of new molecular targeted agents. These agents have the ability to target a variety of cancer relevant receptors and downstream pathways including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), the insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR), the c-Met pathway, cell-cycle pathways, and down-stream signalling pathways such as the Akt-PI3k-mTOR pathway. In the era of new molecularly targeted agents this review focuses on recent developments of targeting relevant pathways involved in gastric cancer and cancer of the GEJ.