Genetics of gastric cancer: what do we know about the genetic risks?
An appreciable number of patients with gastric cancer have an underlying hereditary cancer susceptibility syndrome as the cause of their gastric cancer, particularly those with early onset gastric cancer or a family history of gastric or other cancers. Pathogenic germline variants in specific genes account for the known gastric cancer predisposition syndromes. Germline genetic testing can identify individuals and their family members who carry inherited pathogenic gene variants, and thus have increased risk of developing gastric or other cancers. Ideally, germline pathogenic variants can be identified in family members before the onset of disease, when early detection or prevention strategies can be implemented most effectively to decrease gastric cancer- related morbidity and mortality. This article reviews some of the currently known gastric cancer predisposition syndromes and their associated cancer risks. We also discuss current research and advances in the field of genetic gastric cancer susceptibility.