Biologic therapy in esophageal and gastric malignancies: Current therapies and future directions

Pamela Samson, A. Craig Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Biologic agents, including targeted antibodies as well as immunomodulators, are demonstrating unparalleled development and study across the entire spectrum of human malignancy. This review summarizes the current state of biologic therapies for esophageal, esophagogastric, and gastric malignancies, including those that target human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), c-Met, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and immunomodulators. We focus primarily on agents that have been included in phase II and III clinical trials in locally advanced, progressive, or metastatic esophageal and gastric malignancies. At this time, only two biologic therapies are recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN): trastuzumab for patients with esophageal/esophagogastric or gastric adenocarcinomas with HER2 overexpression and ramucirumab, a VEGFR-2 inhibitor, as a second-line therapy for metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Biologic therapy
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Immunomodulator therapy


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