The prognosis for patients with biliary tract cancers (cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer) is poor, while the incidence of these cancers is increasing. Most patients are diagnosed with advanced disease when treatment options are limited to palliative approaches, mainly focused on chemotherapy. In recent years, novel treatment targets of relevance to biliary tract cancers, mainly present in patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, have been identified and are rapidly changing the field. These include fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) fusions and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-1 and -2 mutations which are each present in around 10-20% of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. In addition, inhibition of other pathways/molecules is currently being explored, including human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family members, the Wnt pathway, neurotropic tyrosine kinase receptor (NTRK) fusions and BRAF mutations. The IDH1 inhibitor ivosidenib has already been tested in a phase III clinical trial in pretreated cholangiocarcinoma and showed benefit in terms of progression-free survival. Multiple FGFR inhibitors have consistently shown high response rates in phase II/III trials, especially for patients harbouring FGFR2 fusions. Herein, we provide an overview of the status of targeted therapies in biliary tract cancers, discussing the current clinical development of IDH and FGFR inhibitors in detail, as well as reviewing current caveats and future steps.
Keywords: Biliary tract cancer; Cholangiocarcinoma; FGFR; Fusion; Gallbladder cancer; IDH; Mutation; Targeted therapies.
Copyright © 2020 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.