Gastric cancer with radiographically occult metastatic disease: Biology, challenges, and diagnostic approaches

Aravind Sanjeevaiah, Haeseong Park, Benjamin Fangman, Matthew Porembka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Gastric adenocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer that demonstrates heterogeneous biology depending on patient ethnicity, tumor location, tumor type, and genetic profile. It remains the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and was estimated to result in 782,000 deaths in 2018. Challenges exist in accurately assessing the disease burden, as available radiological staging often underestimates metastatic disease. This diagnostic handicap, along with the poor understanding of the heterogeneous biology of gastric cancer, has hindered the development of effective therapeutic solutions and thus halted improvement in patient outcomes over the last few decades. The management of occult peritoneal disease is complicated, as most patients are understaged by standard imaging studies and therefore thought to have local diseases. In this article, we systematically review recent literature on the limitations that are associated with standard radiographic staging, discuss recent molecular biology advances to better identify and diagnose occult peritoneal disease, and propose possible management strategies to approach this complicated clinical problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number592
JournalCancers
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • CtDNA
  • Gastric cancer
  • Peritoneal disease
  • Staging laparoscopy

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