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Cancer. 2013 Jan 15;119(2):293-303. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27743. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Gene expression-based chemical genomics identifies heat-shock protein 90 inhibitors as potential therapeutic drugs in cholangiocarcinoma.

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Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, and Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an aggressive tumor with a poor prognosis. There is no standard therapy for CCA, and novel drugs for treating refractory CCA need to be identified.


The authors hypothesized that, if a drug could reverse the gene expression signature of CCA, then it may inhibit the carcinogenesis of CCA and, hence, would be a potential therapeutic agent. Thus, the gene expression signatures from patients with CCA were queried using the bioinformatic method Connectivity Map, resulting in the enrichment of heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors with therapeutic potentials.


Two HSP90 inhibitors, 17-AAG (tanespimycin) and the synthetic diarylisoxazole amide resorcinol NVP-AUY922, demonstrated potent antiproliferative activity in in vitro studies. In a thioacetamide-induced animal model, NVP-AUY922 also had antitumor activity and resulted in objective tumor regression. In addition, NVP-AUY922 reduced the expression of client oncoproteins involved in CCA oncogenesis and inhibited downstream proteins of both the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit α/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 protein kinase (PIK3/AKT) pathway and the v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene/mitogen-activated protein kinase (KRAS/MAPK) pathway.


Preclinical data from the current study suggest that NVP-AUY922 may be an effective treatment option for patients with CCA.

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