Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Dec;9(12):1543-51. doi: 10.1517/14712590903439702.

Trastuzumab for gastric cancer.

Author information

Cross Cancer Institute, Medical Oncology, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Gastric cancer is a disease with different management approaches in different regions, especially between Western and Asian countries. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for non-metastatic disease. Perioperative chemotherapy or adjuvant radio-chemotherapy is recommended, since recurrences are common after curative resection. Unfortunately, advanced or metastatic gastric cancer constitutes the majority of patients in clinical practice. For these patients systemic chemotherapy is the standard treatment, to provide palliation and prolong survival; however, prognosis remains poor. Several molecular targeting agents are under evaluation in international randomized studies.


To review chemotherapy and targeted therapies for gastric cancer, chemical and pharmacological characteristics of trastuzumab, and evidence for its clinical use in gastric cancer.


Examination of relevant literature.


HER-2 is overexpressed/amplified in approximately 22% of gastric cancer patients. Trastuzumab, a recombinant humanized anti-HER-2 monoclonal antibody, is, to our knowledge, the first biological therapy that has showed a survival improvement by nearly 3 months (reduced risk of death by 26%), thus trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy is a treatment option for patients with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer. Trastuzumab's role in curative gastric cancer treatment needs to be studied, as well as monotherapy, maintenance therapy and second line treatment in the palliative setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center