Yonsei Med J.  2015 Sep;56(5):1177-1185. 10.3349/ymj.2015.56.5.1177.

Evolution of Gastric Cancer Treatment: From the Golden Age of Surgery to an Era of Precision Medicine

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. JHCHEONG@yuhs.ac
  • 2Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Gastric cancer imposes a global health burden. Although multimodal therapies have proven to benefit patients with advanced diseases after curative surgery, the prognosis of most advanced cancer patients still needs to be improved. Surgical extirpation is the mainstay of gastric cancer treatment. Indeed, without curative surgery, variations and combinations of chemotherapy and/or radiation cannot bring clinically meaningful success. Centered around D2 surgery, adjuvant and peri-operative multimodal therapies have improved survival in a certain group of gastric cancer patients. Moving toward a personalized cancer therapy era, molecular targeted strategies have been tested in clinical trials for gastric cancer. With some success and failures, we have learned valuable lessons regarding the biology of gastric cancer and the clinical relevance of biological therapies in addition to conventional treatments. Future treatment of gastric cancer will be shifted to molecularly tailored and genome information-based personalized therapy. Collaboration across disciplines and actively adopting emerging anti-cancer strategies, along with in-depth understanding of molecular and genetic underpinnings of tumor development and progression, are imperative to realizing personalized therapy for gastric cancer. Although many challenges remain to be overcome, we envision that the era of precision cancer medicine for gastric cancer has already arrived and anticipate that current knowledge and discoveries will be transformed into near-future clinical practice for managing gastric cancer patients.


Gastric cancer; precision medicine; treatment

MeSH Terms

Combined Modality Therapy
*Precision Medicine
Stomach Neoplasms/*surgery
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