Novel systemic therapies for advanced gastric cancer

Hong Jun Kim, Sang Cheul Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Gastric cancer (GC) is the second leading cause of cancer mortality and the fourth most commonly diagnosed malignant diseases. While continued efforts have been focused on GC treatment, the introduction of trastuzumab marked the beginning of a new era of target-specific treatments. Considering the diversity of mutations in GC, satisfactory results obtained from various target-specific therapies were expected, yet most of them were unsuccessful in controlled clinical trials. There are several possible reasons underlying the failures, including the absence of patient selection depending on validated predictive biomarkers, the inappropriate combination of drugs, and tumor heterogeneity. In contrast to targeted agents, immuno-oncologic agents are designed to regulate and boost immunity, are not target-specific, and may overcome tumor heterogeneity. With the successful establishment of predictive biomarkers, including Epstein-Barr virus pattern, microsatellite instability status, and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, as well as ideal combination regimens, a new frontier in the immuno-oncology of GC treatment is on the horizon. Since the field of immuno-oncology has witnessed innovative, practice-changing successes in other cancer types, several trials on GC are ongoing. Among immuno-oncologic therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors are the mainstay of clinical trials performed on GC. In this article, we review target-specific agents currently used in clinics or are undergoing clinical trials, and highlight the future clinical application of immuno-oncologic agents in inoperable GC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gastric Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar


  • Immunotherapy
  • Stomach neoplasms
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Cancer Research


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