Biologic therapy in esophageal and gastric malignancies: Current therapies and future directions

Pamela Samson, A. Craig Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Biologic agents, including targeted antibodies as well as immunomodulators, are demonstrating unparalleled development and study across the entire spectrum of human malignancy. This review summarizes the current state of biologic therapies for esophageal, esophagogastric, and gastric malignancies, including those that target human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), c-Met, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and immunomodulators. We focus primarily on agents that have been included in phase II and III clinical trials in locally advanced, progressive, or metastatic esophageal and gastric malignancies. At this time, only two biologic therapies are recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN): trastuzumab for patients with esophageal/esophagogastric or gastric adenocarcinomas with HER2 overexpression and ramucirumab, a VEGFR-2 inhibitor, as a second-line therapy for metastatic disease. However, recent reports of increases in overall and progression-free survival for agents including pertuzumab, apatinib, and pembrolizumab will likely increase the use of targeted biologic therapy in clinical practice for esophageal and gastric malignancies

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Biologic therapy
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Immunomodulator therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biologic therapy in esophageal and gastric malignancies: Current therapies and future directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this