Recent advances in molecular targeted therapies, including targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), had a major forward step in the therapy for gastric cancer patients. Application of HER2-targeted therapies, in particular trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy in metastatic HER2-positive gastric cancers, resulted in improvements in response rates, time to progression and overall survival. Nevertheless, as with breast cancer, many patients with gastric cancer develop resistance to trastuzumab. Several promising therapies are currently being developed in combination with chemotherapy to increase the efficacy and overcome the cancer-resistance. Here we review the current overview of clinical application of agents targeting HER2 in gastric cancer. We also discuss the ongoing trials supporting the use of HER2-targeted agents combined with cytotoxic agents or other monoclonal antibodies.
Keywords: Gastric cancer; Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Targeting therapy; Trastuzumab.