Current therapeutic landscape for advanced gastroesophageal cancers
Treatment of advanced gastroesophageal cancers remains challenging for clinicians, patients, and caregivers alike. Despite considerable research, the therapeutic armamentarium is restricted and hardly personalized. In the first-line setting, trastuzumab with a fluoropyrimidine and platinum agent is the standard-of-care in patients with HER2-positive tumor. For the others, a platinum-based doublet (preferably with oxaliplatin) is recommended. Three-drug cytotoxic regimens should be reserved for exceptional cases where patients have good performance status. Triple combinations produce higher toxicity and provide marginal advantage. In the second line setting, the combination of paclitaxel and ramucirumab is preferred over all others. Currently, nothing is approved in the 3rd or later line. Nivolumab has resulted in an improved benefit in an Asian trial. Early trials of TAS-102, STAT3 inhibitors, anti-claudin 18.2 and other immune checkpoint inhibitors (alone or in combination) are ongoing. However, development of reproducible biomarkers for patient enrichment is critical for future progress.