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Future Oncol. 2009 Dec;5(10):1675-84. doi: 10.2217/fon.09.130.

Targeted therapy in biliary tract cancer: 2009 update.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, University Campus Bio-Medico, 00128 Rome, Italy.


Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) include cholangiocarcinoma (intrahepatic, perihilar and extrahepatic), carcinoma of the gall bladder and ampullary carcinoma. In patients with advanced disease the prognosis is poor. There is not a consensus regarding treatment strategy. Chemotherapy has only limited efficacy. This review summarizes the new approaches for BTC patients and the rationale for targeted therapies. The prognostic factors and the molecular features of BTC are analyzed. The clinical trials evaluating the targeted agents are accurately described, especially those assessing the role of anti-EGFR and antiangiogenic drugs. The ongoing trials are also analyzed. In fact, only the results of these trials will establish which is the most effective agent or combination for this setting.

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