Molecular Pathology of Gastroesophageal Cancer

Surg Pathol Clin. 2021 Sep;14(3):443-453. doi: 10.1016/j.path.2021.05.008. Epub 2021 Jul 8.


Upper gastroesophageal carcinomas consist of cancers arising from the esophagus and stomach. Squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas are seen in the esophagus and despite arising from the same organ have different biology. Gastric adenocarcinomas are categorized into 4 molecular subtypes: high Epstein-Barr virus load, microsatellite unstable cancers, chromosomal unstable (CIN) cancers, and genomically stable cancers. Genomically stable gastric cancers correlate highly with histologically defined diffuse-type cancers. Esophageal carcinomas and CIN gastric cancers often are driven by high-level amplifications of oncogenes and contain a high degree of intratumoral heterogeneity. Targeted therapeutics is an active area of research for gastroesophageal cancers.

Keywords: Esophageal adenocarcinoma; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Gastric adenocarcinoma; Molecular pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections* / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pathology, Molecular
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / genetics