Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the world. The prognosis for patients with stomach cancer is poor. In western countries even patients with localized gastric or gastro-esophageal junction adenocarcinoma are faced with five-year survival rates of approximately 35% after standard perioperative chemotherapy and curative surgery.
10-20% of gastric cancers overexpress the Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER-2). There might be a more effective treatment plan for such patients. Addition of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab to standard chemotherapy improves survival significantly in patients with advanced HER-2 positive gastric cancer.
‘In advanced HER-2 positive gastric cancer patients, addition of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab to standard chemotherapy improves survival rate significantly.’
Dr. Anna Dorothea Wagner of Center Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois - Lausanne in Switzerland and Coordinator of this study said, "Considering that HER-2 targeted treatment with trastuzumab has been shown to improve survival in early, HER-2 positive breast cancer when given in addition to chemotherapy either before (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant), as well as in patients with advanced, HER-2 positive gastric cancer, I found it difficult not to administer this drug in patients with early, HER-2 positive gastric cancer when we know that efficient systemic therapy increases the chance for long-term survival."