The clinicopathological characteristics of esophageal cancer have gradually been clarified using molecular biologic methods developed over the past 20 years. For example, amplification of the c-erb B gene is a prognostic factor and predictive of lymph node involvement, while the amplification of the cyclin D1 gene is also a prognostic factor and predictive of distant organ metastasis. Alteration of the p16 gene is also a prognostic factor and predicts lymph node involvement. As telomerase activity is almost a unique phenomenon of cancer cells, highly sensitive detection of esophageal cancer cells in the peripheral blood can be performed. Recently, such new methods as comparative genomic hybridization analysis and cDNA microarray analysis have been used to determine meaningful genetic changes. For therapeutic purposes, although tailor-made therapy has been proposed for several years, the validity of these approaches should be confirmed in a well-designed clinical trial. As molecular targeted therapies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and monoclonal antibodies against EGFR are being studied in clinical trials in Western countries. A clinical trial of p53 gene therapy against esophageal cancer is also promising.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nippon Geka Gakkai zasshi|
|Publication status||Published - 2002 Jun|
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