New Treatment Options for Advanced Biliary Tract Cancer

Jonathan D. Mizrahi, Rachna T. Shroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The standard of care first-line therapy for patients with advanced biliary tract cancers eligible for treatment continues to be the combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin. Based on the promising results of a phase II study, an ongoing multi-institutional phase III study is assessing the benefit of adding nab-paclitaxel to the chemotherapy doublet, and appropriate patients should be considered for enrollment at participating centers. We would recommend early comprehensive genomic profiling of patients’ tumors to identify potentially targetable aberrations with available therapies. Results with therapeutic implications include tumors with microsatellite instability/deficient mismatch repair, alterations in FGFR, IDH1/2, and HER-2, and potentially other molecular vulnerabilities. Patients in whom a targetable genomic abnormality is found should be matched with appropriate agent. If a targetable fusion or mutation is not detected, patients eligible for second-line therapy should be considered for either clinical trial enrollment or a second-line cytotoxic chemotherapy regimen such as modified FOLFOX. Strategies incorporating immunotherapy into the treatment of patients with microsatellite stable advanced biliary tract cancers have yielded largely disappointing results thus far, and routine use of checkpoint inhibitors outside of a clinical trial is not recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number63
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Gall bladder cancer
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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