Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. During the last 50 years, the histological classification of gastric carcinoma has been largely based on Lauren's criteria, in which gastric cancer is classified into two major histological subtypes, namely intestinal type and diffuse type adenocarcinoma. This classification was introduced in 1965, and remains currently widely accepted and employed, since it constitutes a simple and robust classification approach. The two histological subtypes of gastric cancer proposed by the Lauren classification exhibit a number of distinct clinical and molecular characteristics, including histogenesis, cell differentiation, epidemiology, etiology, carcinogenesis, biological behaviors and prognosis. Gastric cancer exhibits varied sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs and significant heterogeneity; therefore, the disease may be a target for individualized therapy. The Lauren classification may provide the basis for individualized treatment for advanced gastric cancer, which is increasingly gaining attention in the scientific field. However, few studies have investigated individualized treatment that is guided by pathological classification. The aim of the current review is to analyze the two major histological subtypes of gastric cancer, as proposed by the Lauren classification, and to discuss the implications of this for personalized chemotherapy.
Keywords: Lauren classification; diffuse type; gastric cancer; individualized chemotherapy; intestinal type.