The future in the treatment of solid tumors, including gastric cancer lies in targeted therapy. However, at this time and in contrast to a series of approved targeted agents for the treatment of breast, lung, colorectal, renal and other cancer types, no targeted drug has been approved or tested in phase III randomized trial for gastric cancer.
• This perspective articles reviews data from phase II clinical II trials and exploits the potential of the development of novel gene expression profiling based biomarkers for tailored treatment decisions.
• In the era of network cancer biology, improved understanding of interactions between signalling oncogenic pathways and environmental factors, e.g. helicobacter pylori infection and diet, will dramatically change the current poor clinical outcome of gastric cancer.
Keywords: Targeted therapies; EGFR inhibitors; Angiogenesis inhibitors; Gastric cancer.