Advanced Gastroesophageal Cancer: What Have We Learned, and What's Next

Christina T. Loguidice
Published: Saturday, Dec 29, 2018
Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD

Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD

Progress is frustratingly slow in the development of therapies for advanced gastroesophageal cancers. However, investigators have achieved some success with immune checkpoint inhibitors and antiangiogenesis agents, and exciting new agents targeting different tumor growth pathways are under investigation, according to a panel of international experts.

Most patients present with advanced unresectable or metastatic disease, which has few treatment options. Unlike the landscape for other solid tumors, treatment has not advanced far beyond chemotherapy, and survival gains have remained modest.

Clinical Trials With Mixed or Negative Results

Discovery of various mutations and other targets in patients with gastroesophageal cancers has led to the assessment of various novel agents. Some of the most actively investigated targets include HER2, PD-1, PD-L1, and angiogenesis.4 Although agents directed against these and other targets have shown clear benefit in other solid tumors, the results have been largely underwhelming in gastroesophageal cancers.
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