Gastric Cancer: Where Are We Heading?

Dig Dis. 2020;38(4):280-285. doi: 10.1159/000506509. Epub 2020 Feb 17.


Background: Despite its decreasing incidence, gastric cancer (GC) remains one of the leading cancers in the world and an important global healthcare problem due to its overall high prevalence and high mortality rate.

Summary: GC is a consequence of Helicobacter pylori infection in 90% of cases, while in 10% Epstein Barr Virus may be responsible. Moreover, some recent epidemiological data suggest an increasing incidence in some young patients groups possibly due to autoimmunity, and if this tendency is confirmed, it may change the epidemiology of GC in the future. The pathogenesis of GC is mainly related to H. pylori infection, but recent data indicate the possible role of other bacteria and their metabolites, like N-nitrosocompounds or acetaldehyde, interfering during the last steps of carcinogenesis. The new molecular classifications of GCs show a great heterogeneity of this neoplasia, which may in the future help to define personalized treatment strategies for the patients. Early detection and proper surveillance of high risk patients should be our major objectives. Key Messages: GC is still an important healthcare problem, with its several aspects which remain the major challenges for the future.

Keywords: Carcinogenesis; Early detection; Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control