Dr. Kunz on Identifying Gastric Cancer Subtypes
Pamela L. Kunz, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Oncology, Stanford University Medical Center, discusses the effort to identify molecular subtypes of gastric cancer.
Molecularly classifying diseases is an important area of research across the entire field of oncology. Gastric cancers were long thought to be a single disease, though researchers are learning that it is, in fact, heterogenous, Kunz says. In total, 10-20% of patients with metastatic gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have HER2 overexpression. Kunz says research is looking into the treating this group of patients with HER2-directed agents such as trastuzumab, T-DM1, and lapatinib, as well as targeting angiogenesis, cMET, EGFR, and FGFR.
The field of oncology is headed in a direction towards finding molecular targets that both predict response to treatment and help prognosticate.