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Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

This year, more than 22,000 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and almost 11,000 will die from this disease. However, stomach cancer can be successfully treated through multiple methods, especially when it is diagnosed in an earlier stage.
 
City of Hope has one of the most experienced stomach cancer programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team that takes an integrated, comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating stomach cancers, as well as pre-cancerous conditions such as gastric polyps.
 
This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • precise imaging using 3D computed tomography (CT) scans
  • highly sensitive endoscopic ultrasound
  • minimally-invasive, robotically-assisted surgery
  • highly precise radiation therapy
  • combination regimens that integrate surgery, radiation, drug and immunotherapy for maximum cancer-fighting effectiveness
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our comprehensive team of supportive care experts - including dieticians, supportive medicine physicians and rehabilitation specialists. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to stomach cancer and its treatments, such as trouble with eating, adjusting to a new diet after treatment or managing nausea and fatigue.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in stomach cancer research and treatment. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country for the 11th year.
 
 
In collaboration with other departments and cancer centers, City of Hope’s stomach cancer program has an active portfolio of clinical trials studying novel treatments, including trials of new surgery, radiation and drug therapy regimens that are more effective against the disease and/or less harmful to the patient. Many of these promising therapies are only available to patients being treated at the City of Hope.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Gastric (Stomach) Cancer Team

About Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the stomach, an organ that holds and digests food with gastric secretions and muscular contractions.
 
The vast majority (90 to 95 percent) of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which typically forms in the glandular cells of the inner stomach lining.
 
Other rare types of cancer found in the stomach include:
 
 
 
Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
 
Screening for stomach cancer is not currently recommended for the general population, but high risk groups, like those with gastric polyps or certain inherited stomach conditions, should discuss early detection options with their doctors.
 
Stomach cancer symptoms can include:
 
  • Poor appetite or feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdominal region, particularly above the navel
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Nausea or frequent vomiting
  • Bloody or black stools
 
While many of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, early stomach cancer detection is critical to successful treatment. If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, please contact a doctor for further evaluation.
 
Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer
 
Risk factors associated with stomach cancer include:
 
  • Age: The chance of getting stomach cancer increases with age, particularly over the age of 50.
  • Diet: A diet high in processed foods (such as cured meats, smoked fishes and pickled vegetables) may elevate stomach cancer risk, while a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables may lower it.
  • Certain Diseases and Conditions:
    • BRCA1 / BRCA2 mutations: People carrying mutations in these genes have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
    • Chronic gastritis: Prolonged inflammation of the stomach that can lead to cancerous changes in the stomach lining.
    • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): This condition, caused by mutations in the APC gene, causes polyp development in the stomach, small intestine and colon, elevating cancer risk in those organs.
    • Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection: H pylori is a bacteria that can cause inflammation and cancerous changes in the stomach’s inner lining, so infection with this germ can significantly raise one’s stomach cancer risk.
    • Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer: A mutation in the CDH1 gene that greatly elevates stomach cancer risk, people with this condition have a 70 to 80 percent chance of developing stomach cancer during their lifetime.
    • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC): Also called Lynch Syndrome, HNPCC is caused by genetic mutations in several genes (most commonly MLH1 and MSH2) that increase stomach and colorectal cancer risk.
    • Intestinal Metaplasia: A stomach cancer risk-elevating condition in which the stomach undergoes abnormal cellular changes, ultimately resembling small intestine or colon cells.
    • Pernicious anemia: People with this condition do not make enough of a substance needed for vitamin B12 absorption, which leads to anemia as well as a higher risk for developing stomach cancer.
    • Stomach polyps: While most stomach polyps are and remain benign, some of them can develop into cancer.
  • Ethnicity: Stomach cancer is more common in Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders than in non-Hispanic whites.
  • Family history: First-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children) of someone with stomach cancer have a higher risk of developing this disease as well.
  • Gender: Men are more likely than women to get stomach cancer.
  • Stomach surgery: People who have had previous stomach surgery are more likely to develop stomach cancer.
  • Tobacco Use: Compared to non-smokers, smokers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
 
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an elevated risk of stomach cancer, please consult with a doctor on preventive and early detection measures that are available.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute
 

How We Diagnose and Stage Stomach Cancer

A timely and accurate detection of stomach cancer is essential to planning the best course of treatment. In addition to a routine physical examination, City of Hope doctors may also use the following tests to diagnose stomach cancer, as well as pre-cancerous conditions such as gastric polyps:
 
  • 3D computed tomography (CT) scan: Using advanced imaging technology and specialized techniques, radiologists at City of Hope can obtain highly clear and precise images of the stomach. This allows the care team to better detect, stage and locate cancerous tissues.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound: City of Hope is a leader in the use of this highly sensitive detection method, which uses a probe in combination with sound waves to obtain detailed internal images of the stomach. If a suspicious growth is found, it can then be biopsied for further evaluation. This screening method can also detect pre-cancerous changes in the stomach.
  • Gastroscopy: A thin, flexible camera is inserted orally into the stomach. It is equipped with a tool to obtain tissue samples for further evaluation. A local anesthetic can be given to minimize discomfort.
  • Barium swallow/upper GI series: For this test, a patient swallows a liquid that contains barium, a silver-white metallic compound that covers the inner lining of the stomach. X-rays are then taken and evaluated for suspicious growths.
  • Biopsy: Abnormal-looking cells of the stomach are removed and checked by a pathologist for cancerous signs. In addition to detecting stomach cancer, this test can also spot pre-cancerous changes in the gastric cells.
 
Other tests that may be used for diagnosis or further evaluation include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
 
Staging Stomach Cancer
 
To properly plan for treatment, stomach cancer patients are staged in accordance to how advanced the disorder is. This is primarily done by taking a number of factors into consideration, including:
 
  • Size of the tumor
  • If the tumor have grown into or through the middle and outer layers of the stomach
  • Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and how many lymph nodes are affected
  • If the cancer has grown into adjacent organs and tissues, such as the diaphragm, spleen and intestines
  • If the cancer has metastasized to distant organs, such as the brain and lungs
 
Based on these factors, patients are staged according to their risk level, with higher risk patients typically requiring more intensive treatments.
 
More information on stomach cancer staging criteria is available on the National Cancer Institute’s website.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Our Treatment Approach to Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is often at an advanced stage upon diagnosis, so treatment needs to be rapid and aggressive, requiring the expertise of specialists who are experienced in treating the disease.

City of Hope has one of the most experienced stomach cancer programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields - including surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to boost outcomes and quality of life.

Surgery

Surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding suspicious tissue is often the primary treatment for stomach cancer. It can be curative for early stage stomach cancer patients and can also improve survival outcomes and reduce discomfort for advanced stomach cancer patients.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons specialize in minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgical procedures for stomach cancer, which can remove cancerous tissue with less discomfort for the patient. By using smaller incisions compared to an open procedure, patients experience less pain, recover faster, have shorter hospital stays and are less likely to have post-surgical complications.
 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation is often used in conjunction with other therapies to treat stomach cancer. It is applied externally using one or more beams focused on the tumor or internally using radioactive seeds that are implanted into or near the tumor site (brachytherapy).
 
Radiation therapy can also improve quality of life by relieving pain, stopping bleeds and reducing stomach obstruction.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy , an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging that results in more focused beams of radiation focused on the tumor while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs, including the heart, lungs and spine.
 

Chemotherapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs to treat localized and metastatic stomach cancer. In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 
Cancer fighting drugs can also enhance the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy, by shrinking the tumor before the procedure and making it easier to remove (neoadjuvant therapy), or given after the procedure to minimize the chance of recurrence (adjuvant therapy.)
 
Chemotherapy may also be given alongside radiation therapy to enhance the cancer-fighting effectiveness of both (chemoradiation.)
 
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the patient’s cancer, health and other factors, so that the chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.

Stomach Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new stomach cancer therapies designed  to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques and new radiation approaches — all focused on enhancing  treatment, detection and prevention of stomach cancer.
 
Some of our current research projects:
 
  • Investigators at City of Hope have developed a vaccine that can treat stomach cancer by stimulating an immune response against the cancer cells. In a Phase I clinical trial, 12 patients have received this vaccine and they will be tracked for five years to determine its effectiveness and tolerability.
  • City of Hope researchers, in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology, have developed a nanoparticle formulation of the chemotherapy drug camptothecin called CRLX101. CRLX101’s small size enables it to permeate the more leaky blood vessels present in tumors, allowing the anti-cancer drug to accumulate at cancer sites and minimizing its side effects on normal tissues. The drug has already shown promise for patients with lung and pancreatic cancers, and investigators hope it will have benefits for stomach cancer patients as well.
  • Overexpression of the HER2 protein in some stomach cancers can be exploited for imaging purposes, since they will take in more trastuzumab (Herceptin) than normal tissues. Using this knowledge, researchers are investigating whether linking trastuzumab to imaging agent 64Cu-DOTA results in better visualization of tumors in a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
  • Following surgery to treat stomach cancer, some patients may have trouble eating, drinking and maintaining a healthy body weight—all of which can lead to poorer outcomes and quality of life. To address this, Division of Nursing Research and Education is currently conducting an assessment study of patients’ dietary habits and problems following gastric surgery. The research team will then use the results to develop a supportive care program to help patients adjust to new eating patterns after surgery.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Living with Stomach Cancer

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for stomach cancer patients undergoing cancer treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope stomach cancer patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine . The department’s staff of professionals, including registered dieticians, rehabilitation specialists, supportive medicine physicians and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing stomach cancer or treatment effects such as poor appetite and trouble eating/drinking
  • Adjustment to new dietary habits following stomach cancer treatment
  • Alleviating or minimizing pain, nausea and fatigue
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Navigation through the health care system
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Healing arts
  • Building caregivers’ skills
 
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating City of Hope's support services under one umbrella. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment. For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.
 
Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Support this program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.

Joe Komsky
Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-6291
Email: jkomsky@coh.org

 
 

Stomach Cancer

Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

This year, more than 22,000 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and almost 11,000 will die from this disease. However, stomach cancer can be successfully treated through multiple methods, especially when it is diagnosed in an earlier stage.
 
City of Hope has one of the most experienced stomach cancer programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team that takes an integrated, comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating stomach cancers, as well as pre-cancerous conditions such as gastric polyps.
 
This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • precise imaging using 3D computed tomography (CT) scans
  • highly sensitive endoscopic ultrasound
  • minimally-invasive, robotically-assisted surgery
  • highly precise radiation therapy
  • combination regimens that integrate surgery, radiation, drug and immunotherapy for maximum cancer-fighting effectiveness
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our comprehensive team of supportive care experts - including dieticians, supportive medicine physicians and rehabilitation specialists. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to stomach cancer and its treatments, such as trouble with eating, adjusting to a new diet after treatment or managing nausea and fatigue.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in stomach cancer research and treatment. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country for the 11th year.
 
 
In collaboration with other departments and cancer centers, City of Hope’s stomach cancer program has an active portfolio of clinical trials studying novel treatments, including trials of new surgery, radiation and drug therapy regimens that are more effective against the disease and/or less harmful to the patient. Many of these promising therapies are only available to patients being treated at the City of Hope.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Stomach Cancer Team

Gastric (Stomach) Cancer Team

About Stomach Cancer

About Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the stomach, an organ that holds and digests food with gastric secretions and muscular contractions.
 
The vast majority (90 to 95 percent) of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which typically forms in the glandular cells of the inner stomach lining.
 
Other rare types of cancer found in the stomach include:
 
 
 
Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
 
Screening for stomach cancer is not currently recommended for the general population, but high risk groups, like those with gastric polyps or certain inherited stomach conditions, should discuss early detection options with their doctors.
 
Stomach cancer symptoms can include:
 
  • Poor appetite or feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdominal region, particularly above the navel
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Nausea or frequent vomiting
  • Bloody or black stools
 
While many of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, early stomach cancer detection is critical to successful treatment. If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, please contact a doctor for further evaluation.
 
Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer
 
Risk factors associated with stomach cancer include:
 
  • Age: The chance of getting stomach cancer increases with age, particularly over the age of 50.
  • Diet: A diet high in processed foods (such as cured meats, smoked fishes and pickled vegetables) may elevate stomach cancer risk, while a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables may lower it.
  • Certain Diseases and Conditions:
    • BRCA1 / BRCA2 mutations: People carrying mutations in these genes have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
    • Chronic gastritis: Prolonged inflammation of the stomach that can lead to cancerous changes in the stomach lining.
    • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): This condition, caused by mutations in the APC gene, causes polyp development in the stomach, small intestine and colon, elevating cancer risk in those organs.
    • Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection: H pylori is a bacteria that can cause inflammation and cancerous changes in the stomach’s inner lining, so infection with this germ can significantly raise one’s stomach cancer risk.
    • Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer: A mutation in the CDH1 gene that greatly elevates stomach cancer risk, people with this condition have a 70 to 80 percent chance of developing stomach cancer during their lifetime.
    • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC): Also called Lynch Syndrome, HNPCC is caused by genetic mutations in several genes (most commonly MLH1 and MSH2) that increase stomach and colorectal cancer risk.
    • Intestinal Metaplasia: A stomach cancer risk-elevating condition in which the stomach undergoes abnormal cellular changes, ultimately resembling small intestine or colon cells.
    • Pernicious anemia: People with this condition do not make enough of a substance needed for vitamin B12 absorption, which leads to anemia as well as a higher risk for developing stomach cancer.
    • Stomach polyps: While most stomach polyps are and remain benign, some of them can develop into cancer.
  • Ethnicity: Stomach cancer is more common in Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders than in non-Hispanic whites.
  • Family history: First-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children) of someone with stomach cancer have a higher risk of developing this disease as well.
  • Gender: Men are more likely than women to get stomach cancer.
  • Stomach surgery: People who have had previous stomach surgery are more likely to develop stomach cancer.
  • Tobacco Use: Compared to non-smokers, smokers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
 
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an elevated risk of stomach cancer, please consult with a doctor on preventive and early detection measures that are available.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute
 

Diagnosing and Staging Stomach Cancer

How We Diagnose and Stage Stomach Cancer

A timely and accurate detection of stomach cancer is essential to planning the best course of treatment. In addition to a routine physical examination, City of Hope doctors may also use the following tests to diagnose stomach cancer, as well as pre-cancerous conditions such as gastric polyps:
 
  • 3D computed tomography (CT) scan: Using advanced imaging technology and specialized techniques, radiologists at City of Hope can obtain highly clear and precise images of the stomach. This allows the care team to better detect, stage and locate cancerous tissues.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound: City of Hope is a leader in the use of this highly sensitive detection method, which uses a probe in combination with sound waves to obtain detailed internal images of the stomach. If a suspicious growth is found, it can then be biopsied for further evaluation. This screening method can also detect pre-cancerous changes in the stomach.
  • Gastroscopy: A thin, flexible camera is inserted orally into the stomach. It is equipped with a tool to obtain tissue samples for further evaluation. A local anesthetic can be given to minimize discomfort.
  • Barium swallow/upper GI series: For this test, a patient swallows a liquid that contains barium, a silver-white metallic compound that covers the inner lining of the stomach. X-rays are then taken and evaluated for suspicious growths.
  • Biopsy: Abnormal-looking cells of the stomach are removed and checked by a pathologist for cancerous signs. In addition to detecting stomach cancer, this test can also spot pre-cancerous changes in the gastric cells.
 
Other tests that may be used for diagnosis or further evaluation include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
 
Staging Stomach Cancer
 
To properly plan for treatment, stomach cancer patients are staged in accordance to how advanced the disorder is. This is primarily done by taking a number of factors into consideration, including:
 
  • Size of the tumor
  • If the tumor have grown into or through the middle and outer layers of the stomach
  • Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and how many lymph nodes are affected
  • If the cancer has grown into adjacent organs and tissues, such as the diaphragm, spleen and intestines
  • If the cancer has metastasized to distant organs, such as the brain and lungs
 
Based on these factors, patients are staged according to their risk level, with higher risk patients typically requiring more intensive treatments.
 
More information on stomach cancer staging criteria is available on the National Cancer Institute’s website.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Stomach Cancer Treatment Approaches

Our Treatment Approach to Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is often at an advanced stage upon diagnosis, so treatment needs to be rapid and aggressive, requiring the expertise of specialists who are experienced in treating the disease.

City of Hope has one of the most experienced stomach cancer programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields - including surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to boost outcomes and quality of life.

Surgery

Surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding suspicious tissue is often the primary treatment for stomach cancer. It can be curative for early stage stomach cancer patients and can also improve survival outcomes and reduce discomfort for advanced stomach cancer patients.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons specialize in minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgical procedures for stomach cancer, which can remove cancerous tissue with less discomfort for the patient. By using smaller incisions compared to an open procedure, patients experience less pain, recover faster, have shorter hospital stays and are less likely to have post-surgical complications.
 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation is often used in conjunction with other therapies to treat stomach cancer. It is applied externally using one or more beams focused on the tumor or internally using radioactive seeds that are implanted into or near the tumor site (brachytherapy).
 
Radiation therapy can also improve quality of life by relieving pain, stopping bleeds and reducing stomach obstruction.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy , an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging that results in more focused beams of radiation focused on the tumor while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs, including the heart, lungs and spine.
 

Chemotherapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs to treat localized and metastatic stomach cancer. In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 
Cancer fighting drugs can also enhance the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy, by shrinking the tumor before the procedure and making it easier to remove (neoadjuvant therapy), or given after the procedure to minimize the chance of recurrence (adjuvant therapy.)
 
Chemotherapy may also be given alongside radiation therapy to enhance the cancer-fighting effectiveness of both (chemoradiation.)
 
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the patient’s cancer, health and other factors, so that the chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.

Research

Stomach Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new stomach cancer therapies designed  to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques and new radiation approaches — all focused on enhancing  treatment, detection and prevention of stomach cancer.
 
Some of our current research projects:
 
  • Investigators at City of Hope have developed a vaccine that can treat stomach cancer by stimulating an immune response against the cancer cells. In a Phase I clinical trial, 12 patients have received this vaccine and they will be tracked for five years to determine its effectiveness and tolerability.
  • City of Hope researchers, in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology, have developed a nanoparticle formulation of the chemotherapy drug camptothecin called CRLX101. CRLX101’s small size enables it to permeate the more leaky blood vessels present in tumors, allowing the anti-cancer drug to accumulate at cancer sites and minimizing its side effects on normal tissues. The drug has already shown promise for patients with lung and pancreatic cancers, and investigators hope it will have benefits for stomach cancer patients as well.
  • Overexpression of the HER2 protein in some stomach cancers can be exploited for imaging purposes, since they will take in more trastuzumab (Herceptin) than normal tissues. Using this knowledge, researchers are investigating whether linking trastuzumab to imaging agent 64Cu-DOTA results in better visualization of tumors in a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
  • Following surgery to treat stomach cancer, some patients may have trouble eating, drinking and maintaining a healthy body weight—all of which can lead to poorer outcomes and quality of life. To address this, Division of Nursing Research and Education is currently conducting an assessment study of patients’ dietary habits and problems following gastric surgery. The research team will then use the results to develop a supportive care program to help patients adjust to new eating patterns after surgery.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Living with Stomach Cancer

Living with Stomach Cancer

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for stomach cancer patients undergoing cancer treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope stomach cancer patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine . The department’s staff of professionals, including registered dieticians, rehabilitation specialists, supportive medicine physicians and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing stomach cancer or treatment effects such as poor appetite and trouble eating/drinking
  • Adjustment to new dietary habits following stomach cancer treatment
  • Alleviating or minimizing pain, nausea and fatigue
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Navigation through the health care system
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Healing arts
  • Building caregivers’ skills
 
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating City of Hope's support services under one umbrella. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment. For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.
 
Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.
 

Support This Program

Support this program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.

Joe Komsky
Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-6291
Email: jkomsky@coh.org

 
 
Quick Links
With Cancer, Expertise Matters

 
Cancer patients need to have confidence in their treatment plans by exploring all possible options. Often that means they should get a second opinion. For these four patients, getting a second opinion from experts at City of Hope was life-saving.
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  • What most people call a “bone marrow transplant” is not actually a transplant of bone marrow; it is instead the transplantation of what’s known as hematopoietic stem cells. Such cells are often taken from bone marrow, but not always. Hematopoietic stem cells are simply immature cells that can ...
  • Doctors have long known that women with a precancerous condition called atypical hyperplasia have an elevated risk of breast cancer. Now a new study has found that the risk is more serious than previously thought. Hyperplasia itself is an overgrowth of cells; atypical hyperplasia is an overgrowth in a distorted...
  • Don’t kid yourself. Just because it’s mid-January doesn’t mean it’s too late to make resolutions for a happier, and healthier, 2015. Just consider them resolutions that are more mature than those giddy, sometimes self-deluded, Jan. 1 resolutions. To that end, we share some advice from Cary A. Presant, M.D., an ...
  • Sales and marketing executive Jim Murphy first came to City of Hope in 2002 to donate blood for a friend who was being treated for esophageal cancer. The disease is serious. Although esophageal cancer accounts for only about 1 percent of cancer diagnoses in the U.S., only about 20 percent of patients survive at...
  • Aaron Bomar and his family were celebrating his daughter’s 33rd birthday in September 2014 when he received alarming news: According to an X-ray taken earlier that day at an urgent care facility, he had a node on his aorta and was in danger of an aneurysm. Bomar held hands with his wife and daughter and s...
  • Explaining a prostate cancer diagnosis to a young child can be difficult — especially when the cancer is incurable. But conveying the need for prostate cancer research, as it turns out, is easily done. And that leads to action. Earlier this year, Gerald Rustad, 71, who is living with a very aggressive form of m...
  • Cancer and its treatment can create unexpected daily challenges for patients. Side effects from chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy as well as the disease itself can cause difficulty in everything from speech to movement to eating. When this happens, rehabilitation is vital; it helps patients restore th...
  • Betsy Sauer and her four daughters share plenty in common. They’re smart and successful.  They’re funny, ranging from wryly witty to wickedly hilarious. Their hobbies tend toward the active and adventurous: hiking, rock climbing, skiing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, yoga and horseback riding. Also, they take he...
  • Flu season is upon us, and few people should take the risk of infection more seriously than cancer patients and their loved ones and caregivers. With the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning of widespread influenza outbreaks, it’s clear that flu season – and the associated risks – won’t en...
  • HIV/AIDS researchers are determined not only to cure the disease, but to develop ever-more-effective treatments until that ultimate goal is reached. In 2015, they will gain ground in both endeavors. In search of a cure: Stem cell and gene therapy One of the most promising prospects for curing HIV is to recreate...
  • Every year, researchers make gains in the understanding of cancer, and physicians make gains in the treatment of cancer. As a result, every year, more cancer patients survive their disease. In those ways, 2015 will be no different. What will be different are the specific research discoveries and the specific ad...