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Four Subtypes of Gastric Cancer

Adam Bass, MD
Published Online:4:55 PM, Mon December 22, 2014
Adam Bass, MD, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, provides an overview of the four subtypes of gastric cancer identified in a recent study.

Clinical Pearls

  • The 4 main subtypes identified were Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive, microsatellite unstable, genomically stable, and chromosomal instable.
  • Approximately 10% of tumors were classified in the EBV-positive subtype. This was the most actionable subtype identified.
  • Tumors in the microsatellite unstable subtype had malfunctions in DNA repair mechanisms.
  • 30% of tumors in the genomically stable subtype had alterations in the RHOA pathway.
  • The chromosomal unstable subtype could possibly be treated with drugs that are currently available or are in the late stages of development.
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