August 1st 2007
The majority of patients who undergo resection for gastric cancer experience relapse and ultimately die of their disease. Therefore, considerable attention has been paid to neoadjuvant and adjuvant strategies to improve surgical outcomes. Two different approaches have been tested in major clinical trials conducted in the past several years: Postoperative chemoradiotherapy was assessed in a US Southwest Oncology Group/Intergroup study (SWOG 9008/INT 0116), and perioperative chemotherapy was studied in a UK Medical Research Council (MRC) randomized trial (the MRC Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy [MAGIC] trial). These trials demonstrated statistically significant survival benefits in patients with resectable gastric cancer. This review will consider these trials and their implications for clinical practice.