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Int J Surg Oncol. 2012;2012:868645. doi: 10.1155/2012/868645. Epub 2012 Jun 24.

Immunohistochemical biomarkers in gastric cancer research and management.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy.


Gastric cancer still represents a major health problem, despite a decrease in its incidence in the last years. Due to the social impact of gastric cancer (GC), there is a need for novel biomarkers in order to stratify patients into appropriate screening, surveillance, or treatment programs. Although histopathology remains the most reliable and less expensive method, numerous efforts have been made searching for novel biomarkers. In recent years, several molecules have been identified and tested for their clinical relevance in GC management. In this paper, we will focus on a well-known GC marker, whose determination is mandatory in GC, HER2, a marker whose correlation with prognosis is still controversial (VEGF-A) and a quite novel, unconventional marker, the ether-à-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1). All these proteins can be easily detected with immunohistochemistry, a technique widely used both in diagnostic and research laboratories that represents a link between surgical and molecular pathology, basic science, and clinical medicine.

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