Cancer is complex — there is no routine stomach cancer, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.

The OSUCCC – James physicians are nationally and internationally renowned in research and patient care for their one particular cancer. Because of that expertise and understanding of cancer’s complexities and how it acts and reacts differently in each person, the very best outcomes — and the most effective means of treating cancer patients — come from a team approach.

At the OSUCCC – James, stomach cancer patients have a team of experts that includes medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, gastroenterologists, hepatologists, nutritionists and more. Also on that team are stomach cancer researchers who help sequence tumors to identify key molecules that fuel each patient’s cancer and who then develop drugs that target only those particular molecules. Many of our experts also help write the national clinical guidelines for treatments.

As one of only a few cancer centers in the country funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to more clinical trials than nearly any other cancer hospital in the country and to more of the latest, most targeted, most effective treatment options — many that are available nowhere else but at the OSUCCC – James.

There are several types of treatment for stomach cancer. The OSUCCC – James team of subspecialists determine the best treatment for each patient based on his or her specific, individual stomach cancer. Patients may receive one treatment or a combination of treatments.

Stomach Cancer Treatment


Surgery is usually the preferred method of treatment of all stages of gastric cancer. Sometimes surgery may be used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy.

The following types of surgery may be used:

Subtotal (Partial) Gastrectomy

The part of the stomach that contains cancer, nearby lymph nodes and parts of other tissues and organs near the tumor are surgically removed. The spleen may also be removed.

Total Gastrectomy

The entire stomach, nearby lymph nodes and parts of the esophagus, small intestine and other tissues near the tumor are removed. The spleen may also be removed. The small intestine and esophagus are reconnected so the patient can continue to eat and swallow.

For either of these two surgeries, lymph node removal is an important part of the surgery and can contribute to the overall success of the operation.

If the cancer cannot be completely removed by the above surgeries, the following procedures may be used:

Endoluminal Stent Placement

A procedure in which a thin, expandable tube is placed from the esophagus to the stomach or from the stomach to the small intestine. The stent helps keep the passageway clear so the patient can eat and swallow again.

Endoluminal Laser Therapy

A procedure in which a laser is used to remove any cancerous tissues or tumors.


A type of surgery to remove the part of the cancerous part of the stomach that is blocking the entrance to the small intestine.

If all or part of your stomach is removed during surgery, the surgeon will create a new way for you to eat, swallow and digest food. This may require changes in eating habits such as eating more frequently, eating smaller portions and avoiding sugar.


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. The type of radiation given will depend on the stage of disease.

OSUCCC – James provides the most advanced radiation treatments for esophageal cancer, including:

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
  • Image-Guided Radiation Therapy
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy
  • Brachytherapy, Image-Guided Brachytherapy
  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment designed to attack, or target, cancer cells, leaving healthy or normal cells unharmed. These drugs tend to have less severe side effects and are usually more tolerated than standard chemotherapy drugs.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy sometimes used in the treatment of gastric cancer. These antibodies attach to the substances they recognize on the cancer cell and can selectively destroy them, block their growth or keep them from spreading.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Stomach Cancer Research & Clinical Trials

For cancer patients, clinical trials mean hope. Hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure individual cancers. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more cancer clinical trials here than at nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results.

Additionally, Ohio State has nearly 300 cancer researchers dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, move, metastasize or reoccur. Because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and make them available to patients sooner.

If you have received a stomach cancer diagnosis, or if you need a second opinion or just want to speak to a stomach cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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