Targeted therapy in biliary tract cancers—current limitations and potentials in the future
Biliary tract cancers (BTC)/Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an aggressive biliary tract epithelial malignancy from varying locations within the biliary tree with cholangiocyte depreciation., including intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) (iCCA), extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (eCCA) and gallbladder carcinoma (GBC). The disease is largely heterogeneous in etiology, epidemiology, and molecular profile. There are limited treatment options and low survival rates for those patients with advanced or metastatic disease. Systemic treatment is confined to cytotoxic chemotherapy with the combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin. Lack of a stereotype genetic signature makes difficult in identification of potential actionable target directly, which may also explain lack of obvious clinic benefit with target oriented agents from current studies. It is crucial to understand of BTC carcinogenesis, tumor-stroma interactions, and key molecular pathways, and herald to establish targeted, individualized therapies for the heterogeneous disease, and eventually to improve the survival and overall outcome of patients.