Hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach - Proper identification and treatment remain a challenge
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Objective: The term hepatoid adenocarcinoma (HAC) of the stomach was introduced three decades ago with the observation of high serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) levels in some gastric adenocarcinoma patients. This very rare gastric cancer patient subgroup is likely frequently misdiagnosed.
Material: Two patients who were recently diagnosed with HAC of the stomach at our institution are presented. We also performed a structured literature search and reviewed pertinent articles to provide knowledge to improve the proper identification, diagnosis and management of patients with gastric HAC.
Results: HAC is a rare subgroup of gastric carcinoma with poor prognosis. Clinical management of this population may be challenging. The scientific literature is largely based on very small patient series or case reports, and the evidence for proper decision making and management is considered weak.
Conclusion: All physicians involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with gastric cancer should pay attention to this rare subgroup to improve identification.