Treatment of localized gastric and gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma: The role of accurate staging and preoperative therapy

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Gastric cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death worldwide, although it is not in the top 10 causes of cancer death in Northern America. Due to clear differences in incidence, screening, risk factors, tumor biology, and treatment between gastric cancers from Eastern and Western countries, our treatment is primarily guided by trials from Western countries. Patients undergo an extensive staging evaluation including high-quality CT imaging, endoscopic ultrasound, and diagnostic laparoscopy with peritoneal washings for cytology. Patients are presented in multidisciplinary conference with input from medical, radiation, and surgical oncology, in addition to further evaluation of existing studies and biopsy results by diagnostic radiology and pathology colleagues. Due to the well-documented difficulty in tolerating postoperative therapy, patients are frequently treated with preoperative chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy. Extended lymph node (D2) dissection is routinely performed during subtotal or total gastrectomy. Ongoing trials in Western populations comparing preoperative chemotherapy to chemoradiotherapy will help inform the decision regarding the optimal treatment for patients with resectable gastric cancer. Additional studies are needed to identify predictors of treatment response to identify the optimal preoperative or perioperative approach. As peritoneal disease is the most common site of recurrence, studies are also urgently needed for more accurate methods of detecting peritoneal disease at diagnosis, and also investigating potential treatment modalities such as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.




Badgwell, B., Das, P., & Ajani, J. (2017). Treatment of localized gastric and gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma: The role of accurate staging and preoperative therapy. Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 10(1).

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