Publication Date: 
Monday, July 16, 2012
Biliary tract carcinomas: From chemotherapy to targeted therapy

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012 Jul 16.
Marino D, Leone F, Cavalloni G, Cagnazzo C, Aglietta M.

Biliary tract carcinomas (BTC) are a group of tumours arising from the epithelial cells of intra- and extra-hepatic biliaryducts and the gallbladder, characterised by a poor prognosis. Surgery is the only curative procedure, but the risk of recurrence is high and furthermore, the majority of patients present with unresectable disease at the time of diagnosis. Systemic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for patients who present recurrent or metastatic disease. Progress has been made in the last decade to identify the most effective chemotherapy regimens, with the recent recommendation of the combination of gemcitabine-cisplatin as the standard schedule. Comprehension of the molecular basis of cholangiocarcinogenesis and tumour progression has recently led to the experimentation of targeted therapies in patients with BTC, demonstrating promising results. In this review we will discuss the clinical experience with systemic treatment for BTC, focusing on future directions with targeted therapies.