This article discusses recent advances in gastric cancer research that have improved treatment and outcomes of gastric malignancy, or have the potential to do so. The significance of Helicobacter pylori infection and eradication, immunology, host genetics, proto-oncogenes, and epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer are discussed. Abnormal signaling through growth factor pathways (tyrosine kinases and gastrointestinal peptides) presents ample opportunities for therapeutic intervention that are currently being tested in clinical trials. Drugs targeting abnormal epigenetic changes, such as DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, are also on the horizon, although most of this research is still in the preclinical phase. The potential prognostic implications of genetics and immunology in gastric cancer prognosis are also reviewed.
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