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Gastric Cancer

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with gastric cancer, you may be trying to learn as much as possible about the disease and its treatments. Read on to find out more.

The information on this website should be discussed with your healthcare professional and does not replace their advice.

What is gastric cancer?

Gastric cancer is also known as stomach cancer. It is more common in men than women. Although it can start at any age, it is more common after the age of 60.

Gastric cancer starts in the lining of the stomach. In some people, cancer may start at the point where the oesophagus (food pipe) joins with the stomach. This is called gastroesophageal junction cancer.

Treatment with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)

Your doctor will plan your treatment according to your individual circumstances. These include the location of the cancer in your stomach, its stage and its type. Your age, nutritional needs and overall health will also be considered.

KEYTRUDA is an immunotherapy that may be used in combination with other cancer treatments as your first treatment for gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma if:

  • Your cancer tests positive for two proteins, known as HER2 and PD-L1; and
  • Your cancer is locally advanced and cannot be removed by surgery; or
  • Your cancer has spread (metastatic).

Talk to your doctor to see if KEYTRUDA may be right for you.

KEYTRUDA is not funded in New Zealand for the treatment of patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.


Expand for information on terms and definitions related to gastric cancer.

Terms you may find useful:

Cancer that starts in glandular cells in the lining of internal organs, for example, the stomach and oesophagus.

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. A protein needed for cell growth. Some types of cancer cells make HER2 in larger amounts than in healthy cells.

A doctor who specialises in treating cancer with drug therapies – for example, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

A protein that may protect cancer cells from being detected by the immune system.

The expected outcome of your cancer. Your doctor is the best person to ask about your prognosis, but it is not possible for anyone to predict the exact course of cancer.

A new or abnormal growth of tissue on or in the body. Tumours can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

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Questions to ask your doctor


Cancer Council Australia 2021. Understanding Stomach and Oesophageal Cancers. A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends.
Available at:
Accessed on 02/03/2022

KEYTRUDA Consumer Medicine Information


National Cancer Institute. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. HER2.
Available at:
Accessed on 29/03/2021

National Cancer Institute. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. PD-L1.
Available at:
Accessed on 25/8/2020

NZ-KEY-00919. TAPS DA 2339KN TAPS NP21284. First Issued July 2024.