Gastric cancer remains one of the most common causes of cancer-related death worldwide, although the incidence is declining gradually. The primary risk factor for gastric cancer is Helicobacter pylori infection. The Kyoto global consensus report recommends eradication of H. pylori in all infected patients. However, because it is difficult to stratify the risk of carcinogenesis among patients with a history of H. pylori infection, annual endoscopic surveillance is performed for everyone after eradication. This review summarizes the current approaches used to screen for novel molecules that could assist in the diagnosis of gastric cancer and reduce mortality. Most well-studied molecules are tissue protein biomarkers expressed by the gastric epithelium and associated with metaplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma sequences. Other strategies focus on the origin of cancer stem cell-related markers, such as CD44, and immune reaction-related markers, such as matrix metallopeptidases. Noninvasive methods such as blood-based approaches are more attractive. Serum pepsinogen levels predict the severity of gastric mucosal atrophy before H. pylori eradication, whereas plasma ghrelin levels are associated with atrophy even after eradication. Cell-free DNAs and RNAs are attractive tools for the early detection of cancer. These ideas could lead to the development of more personalized strategies for cancer prevention based on cutting-edge technologies.
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