Introduction Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are a rare and heterogenous group with an increasing incidence and high mortality rate. The estimated new cases and deaths of BTC worldwide are increasing, but the incidence and mortality rates in South East Asia are the highest worldwide, representing a real public health problem in these regions. BTC has a poor prognosis with a median overall survival <12 months. Thus, an urgent unmet clinical need for BTC patients exists and must be addressed. Results The backbone treatment of these malignancies is chemotherapy in first- and second-line setting, but in the last decade a rich molecular landscape has been discovered, expanding conceivable treatment options. Some druggable molecular aberrations can be treated with new targeted therapies and have already demonstrated efficacy in patients with BTC, improving clinical outcomes, such as the FGFR2 or IDH1 inhibitors. Many other molecular alterations are being discovered and the treatment of BTC will change in the near future from our current clinical practice. Conclusions In this review we discuss the epidemiology, molecular characteristics, present treatment approaches, review the recent therapeutic advances, and explore future directions for patients with BTC. Due to the rich molecular landscape of BTC, molecular profiling should be carried out early. Ongoing research will bring new targeted treatments and immunotherapy in the near future.
Biliary tract cancer; Molecular testing; Next-generation sequencing
Mirallas O, López-Valbuena D, García-Illescas D, Fabregat-Franco C, Verdaguer H, Tabernero J, et al. Advances in the systemic treatment of therapeutic approaches in biliary tract cancer. ESMO Open. 2022 Jun;7(3):100503.
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