Overall survival of gastric cancer remains low, as patients are often diagnosed with advanced stage disease. In this review, we give an overview of current research on biomarkers in gastric cancer and their implementation in treatment strategies. The HER2-targeting trastuzumab is the first molecular targeted agent approved for gastric cancer treatment. Other promising biomarkers for targeted therapies that have shown relevance in clinical trials are VEGF and Claudin 18.2. Expression of MET has been shown to be a negative prognostic factor in gastric cancer. Targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway with immune checkpoint inhibitors has proven efficacy in advanced gastric cancer. Recent technology advances allow the detection of circulating tumor cells that may be used as diagnostic and prognostic indicators and for therapy monitoring in gastric cancer patients. Prognostic molecular subtypes of gastric cancer have been identified using genomic data. In addition, transcriptome profiling has allowed a comprehensive characterization of the immune and stromal microenvironment in gastric cancer and development of novel risk scores. These prognostic and predictive markers highlight the rapidly evolving field of research in gastric cancer, promising improved treatment stratification and identification of molecular targets for individualized treatment in gastric cancer.
Keywords: advanced gastric cancer; biomarker; gastric cancer; targeted therapy.