Epidemiology: Gastric cancer is the second most common cancer in Asia, more than half of the world's gastric cancer cases arise in Eastern Asia, and the majority of Asia's cases still occur in the distal part of the stomach.
Etiology and prevention: The etiology of gastric cancer consists of genetic susceptibility, Helicobacter pylori infection and environmental risk factors. Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment, consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits and use of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs seem to reduce the risk of gastric cancer.
Endoscopy and diagnosis: Screening for gastric cancer is cost-effective in countries with high incidence. Risk stratification may increase the cost-effectiveness of screening in populations at moderate risk. Endoscopic resection is curative in a subset of patients with early cancer.
Surgery and adjuvant treatment: R0 resection with D2 lymph node dissection has produced the best survival data. Some kind of post-operative adjuvant chemotherapy including S-1 is recommended after D2 surgery.
Chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer: As chemotherapy for gastric cancer, fluorouracils plus platinum are the most widely accepted first-line regimens, whereas taxanes or irinotecan are mostly used in second- and third-line settings. Differences in the approval and medical insurance systems may influence the status of these regimens. Trastuzumab in combination with fluorouracils/platinum will be a standard regimen for HER2-positive gastric cancer. Many new targeting agents are currently under investigation, and Asian countries are playing important roles in investigation and development of new and better treatments for this malignancy.