Perioperative therapy for locally advanced gastroesophageal cancer: Current controversies and consensus of care

Amikar Sehdev, Daniel Vt Catenacci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Scopus citations


Gastroesophageal cancer (GEC) remains a challenging problem in oncology. Anatomically, GEC is comprised of distal gastric adenocarcinoma (GC), classically associated with Helicobacter Pylori, while proximal esophagogastric adenocarcinoma (EGJ AC) has increased significantly in incidence over the past years. Despite contrasting etiologies, histologies, and molecular phenotypes of distal and proximal GEC, in many cases perioperative (and metastatic) treatment strategies converge to similar approaches. For patients undergoing curative intent surgery, advances in perioperative chemotherapy and/or chemoradiotherapy, either before and/or after surgery, have demonstrated improved survivals compared to surgery alone. This review focuses on how the 'boundary' of the Z-line and/or the anatomical distinction of 'proximal' (EGJ) vs. 'distal' (GC) cancer has led to diverse inclusion/exclusion criteria for clinical trial enrollment, embodying various combinations of chemotherapy and radiation before and/or after surgery. Supporting evidence of each of these approaches consequently has led to a number of varying practices by geographical region and Institution/Physician, based on differing experience, preference, and clinical circumstance. Adequate direct comparison of these approaches is lacking currently, but data from a number of concerted efforts should be available in the next years to further direct best standards of care. Introduction of biologically targeted agents, namely anti-angiogenics and anti-HER family therapeutics are being evaluated to determine whether further therapeutic gains can be realized over classic cytotoxic chemotherapy alone (with/without radiotherapy). To date, novel molecularly targeted agents have yet to demonstrate benefit in this setting. In the following comprehensive review we will address the intricacies of perioperative treatment of locally advanced GEC, with focus on clinical trials supporting the diverse set of perioperative multidisciplinary approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Esophagogastric (gastroesophageal) junction cancer
  • Gastric adenocarcinoma
  • Multi-disciplinary care
  • Stomach cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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