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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2006 Aug;59(2):128-38. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Novel targets in gastric and esophageal cancer.

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  • 1Medical Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, P Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.


Esophageal cancer (EC) and gastric cancer (GC) constitute a major cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Recent improvements in both surgical techniques and adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both have increased the survival of patients with loco-regional disease. However, most patients with GC or EC have advanced disease either at diagnosis or during the follow-up, and despite recent advances, these patients still do poorly. Understanding of the molecular pathways that characterize cell growth, cell cycle, apoptosis, angiogenesis and invasion has provided novel targets in cancer therapy. In this review we describe the current status of targeted therapies in the treatment of EC and GC, including EGFR inhibitors, antiangiogenic agents, cell cycle inhibitors, apoptosis promoters and matrix metalloproteinases inhibitors. The emerging data from the clinical development of these compounds has provided novel opportunities in the treatment of EC and GC that will probably translate into clinical benefit for patients with these common malignancies.

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