Recent advances in gastric cancer early diagnosis

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 May 7;25(17):2029-2044. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i17.2029.


Gastric cancer (GC) remains an important cause of cancer death worldwide with a high mortality rate due to the fact that the majority of GC cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prognosis is poor and the treatment options are limited. Unfortunately, the existing circulating biomarkers for GC diagnosis and prognosis display low sensitivity and specificity and the GC diagnosis is based only on the invasive procedures such as upper digestive endoscopy. There is a huge need for less invasive or non-invasive tests but also highly specific biomarkers in case of GC. Body fluids such as peripheral blood, urine or saliva, stomach wash/gastric juice could be a source of specific biomarkers, providing important data for screening and diagnosis in GC. This review summarized the recently discovered circulating molecules such as microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, circular RNAs, which hold the promise to develop new strategies for early diagnosis of GC.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Circulating molecules; Early diagnosis; Gastric cancer; Genetic and epigenetic alterations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell-Free Nucleic Acids / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / trends*
  • Endoscopy
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Proteome
  • Proteomics / methods
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stomach / microbiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell-Free Nucleic Acids
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proteome
  • RNA, Long Noncoding