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Biliary tract cancers: current knowledge, clinical candidates and future challenges

Authors Tariq N, McNamara MG, Valle JW

Received 26 August 2018

Accepted for publication 13 December 2018

Published 29 March 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 2623—2642

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S157092

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmet Emre Eskazan


Noor-ul-Ain Tariq,1,2 Mairéad G McNamara,1,2 Juan W Valle1,2

1Faculty of Biomedicine and Health Sciences, Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9NT, UK; 2Department of Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK

Abstract: Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are rare with poor prognosis. Due to the advent of genomic sequencing, new data have emerged regarding the molecular makeup of this disease. To add to the complexity, various subtypes also harbor a varied genetic composition. The commonly mutated genes associated with this cancer are KRAS, EGFR, IDH, FGFR and BAP1. Various clinical studies are looking at targeting these genetic mutations. Another therapeutic area of note is the potential for the use of immunotherapy in patients with BTC. Although BTC may be a result of chronic inflammation, this does not necessarily translate into increased immunogenicity. This literature review discusses the diverse molecular and immune-related pathways in patients with BTC and their potential therapeutic implications.

Keywords: biliary tract cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer, genome sequencing, molecular targets, immunotherapy


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