Novel targeted treatment options for advanced cholangiocarcinoma

Amit Mahipal, Anuhya Kommalapati, Sri Harsha Tella, Alexander Lim, Richard Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Surgical resection remains the mainstay of potentially curative treatment in the early stages of cholangiocarcinoma, whereas for the advanced stage, systemic chemotherapeutics and experimental targeted therapies are the primary treatment options. The molecular heterogeneity of the tumor is based on location, liver dysfunction, and relative rarity of the disease and confers challenges for clinical trial enrollment. The advancements in the understanding of molecular pathogenesis of cholangiocarcinoma have led to the development of targeted therapies that are currently being evaluated in the clinical trials. Areas covered: This review summarizes the current understanding and future directions of targeted therapeutic options in the management of advanced cholangiocarcinoma. Expert opinion: Advanced cholangiocarcinoma has a dismal prognosis; improved understanding of the molecular pathogenesis and advancements in development of targeted therapy offers hope that we may improve outcomes in this rare, but highly lethal cancer. Among the newly discovered molecular alterations, targeting FGFR2 fusions, IDH1/2 mutations and HER2 receptors hold great promise for improving the future management of cholangiocarcinoma. Immunotherapy in combination with targeted agents and chemotherapy may improve outcomes. In addition, drugs targeting the MEK, EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, and ROS1 pathways and neo-angiogenesis may also provide new horizons in the management of cholangiocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-720
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2018


  • FGFR
  • IDH
  • Targeted therapy
  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • gemcitabine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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