Gastric surgeon Vivian Strong discusses advances in the treatment of gastric cancer in this Grand Rounds presentation. Significant progress has been made in recent years due to improved staging, advances in surgical technology, and a deeper understanding of the heterogeneity of the disease.
More-accurate staging allows use of optimal treatment for individual patients, including minimally invasive surgery. Laparoscopy for gastrectomies has been proven safe and effective with fewer postsurgical complications than open surgery, although the learning curve is significant. Robotic surgery has a reduced learning curve and offers opportunities to integrate other technologies such as fluorescence imaging.
Gastric cancer is now recognized as three different diseases (proximal intestinal, distal intestinal, and diffuse) with distinct molecular signatures. These advances have enabled us to treat gastric cancer patients with multimodal therapies that are more tailored to their specific disease.