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Vern LoshStomach cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these. Surgical options depend on the extent of the cancer within the stomach, and include partial or total gastrectomy (removal of the stomach).

Radiation and chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery to target the growing cancer cells in the stomach. Two medications commonly used for chemotherapy in gastric cancer patients include Fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin (Platinol). In advanced cases of gastric cancer, surgery or chemotherapy may be used to alleviate symptoms. This is known as supportive care or palliative care.


The 5-year survival rate for people diagnosed with stage IV gastric cancer is only 4% and the overall 5-year survival rate is approximately 29%. This number is low because most cases are detected at a late stage, when the cancer has already spread outside the stomach. However, cases that are detected at earlier stages have a better prognosis.


Although the National Cancer Institute spends approximately 11 million to 12 million dollars annually on gastric cancer research, this is less than 0.5% of the total NCI budget. However, many medical centers develop clinical trials to learn more about prevention and treatment of gastric cancer.

Clinical Trials

To make scientific advances in stomach cancer, doctors and scientists conduct research studies involving volunteers, called clinical trials. Many clinical trials are focused on new treatments, new drugs or new approaches to existing treatments. Other clinical trials are focused on stomach cancer prevention, familial genetics or on easing symptoms and side effects during treatment. Patients that participate in clinical trials are often first to receive new treatments or information before they become widely available.

Find a Clinical Trial

Get information on current clinical trials, including a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations and how to obtain more details on clinical trials being conducted throughout the United States and around the world.