Gastric cancer (GC) remains one of the most common causes of mortality worldwide. Intestinal metaplasia (IM) is one of the preneoplastic gastric lesions and is considered an essential predisposing factor in GC development. Here we present a review of recent most relevant papers to summarize major findings on the molecular alterations in gastric IM. The latest progress in novel diagnostic methods allows scientists to identify various types of molecular alterations in IM, such as polymorphisms in various genes, changes in the expression of micro-RNAs and long noncoding RNAs, and altered microbiome profiles. The results have shown that some of these alterations have strong associations with IM and a potential to be used for screening, treatment, and prognostic purposes; however, one of the most important limiting factors is the inhomogeneity of the studies. Therefore, further large-scale studies and clinical trials with standardized methods designed by multicenter consortiums are needed. As of today, various molecular alterations in IM could become a part of personalized medicine in the near future, which would help us deliver a personalized approach for each patient and identify those at risk of progression to GC.
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