Depending on your situation and the stage of your cancer, chemotherapy and targeted therapies may help you live longer and experience fewer symptoms. Typically, we reserve these approaches for people with more advanced cancer.

Your treatment team may use chemotherapy in addition to surgery. Neoadjuvant therapy, which happens before surgery, can shrink tumors and make them easier to remove surgically. Adjuvant therapy, which happens after surgery, can eliminate any remaining cancer cells. If you have advanced cancer or surgery isn’t an option for you, your team may combine chemotherapy with radiation therapy.

Another drug treatment for gastric cancer is intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. With this approach, your doctor places chemotherapy drugs directly into your internal abdominal area using a surgically implanted catheter (a thin tube). IP chemotherapy can be a more effective treatment for stomach cancer than chemotherapy drugs taken by mouth or through an IV.

Targeted Therapies

MSK experts are currently assessing the effectiveness of using targeted therapies for stomach cancer. Certain agents have shown promise in blocking the development and growth of tumors. We determine which targeted therapy is best for you based on the unique characteristics of your tumor, and give these drugs in combination with chemotherapy.