Clinical and molecular prognostic markers of survival after surgery for gastric cancer: tumor-node-metastasis staging system and beyond

Mykola Zubarayev, Eun-Ki Min, Taeil Son


For accurately predicting prognosis and for effectively describing cancer states at a certain point during treatment to other care providers and patients, various staging systems have been utilized in gastric cancer. Among these, the UICC/AJCC tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system is most widely used. However, even within the same substage, gastric cancers can vary substantially in regards to prognosis after treatment. For more accurate and individualized prognostication, staging systems have been found to benefit from including molecular markers and genomic subtypes, in addition to clinicopathological parameters, such as age, sex, tumor size, tumor location, Lauren classification, number of lymph nodes resected, extent of surgical resection, lymphovascular invasion, and adjuvant chemotherapy. In this review article, we review and summarize relevant biomarkers for gastric cancer that can be incorporated into the current anatomy-based TNM staging system, as well as results from validation studies thereof.