What are the ESMO/ESSO/ESTRO treatment guidelines for gastric cancer?

Updated: Feb 24, 2020
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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The European Society for Medical Oncology/ European Society of Surgical Oncology/ European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESMO-ESSO-ESTRO) recommendations for treatment are as follows [75] :

  • Multidisciplinary treatment planning is mandatory; the management team should include surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, and pathologists plus, if available, dieticians and nurse specialists
  • T1a gastric cancers may be amenable to endoscopic resection if they are well-differentiated, ≤2 cm, confined to the mucosa, and not ulcerated
  • With T1 tumors that do not meet the criteria for endoscopic therapy, lymph node dissection during open surgery can be limited to perigastric nodes and include local N2 nodes
  • The preferred treatment for operable gastric cancers beyond stage T1N0 is surgery with both preoperative and postoperative chemotherapy
  • For patients with stage IB disease or higher who do not receive preoperative chemotherapy, the treatment options include either chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting
  • Radical gastrectomy is indicated for resectable stage IB–III disease, although subtotal gastrectomy may be performed if a macroscopic proximal margin of 5 cm can be achieved between the tumor and the esophagogastric junction (8 cm for diffuse-type cancers)
  • For medically fit patients, D2 lymph node dissection should be standard
  • For inoperable or metastatic gastric cancer, treatment is with palliative chemotherapy, or best supportive care if the patient is unfit for treatment
  • In HER-2 negative disease, combination regimens based upon a platinum–fluoropyrimidine doublet are generally used; triplet regimens are controversial, but the addition of an anthracycline (eg, epirubicin) has demonstrated benefit
  • In HER-2 positive disease, recommended chemotherapy is with trastuzumab plus cisplatin and either 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine
  • Second-line chemotherapy options include irinotecan and docetaxel or paclitaxel

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