Cholangiocarcinoma: bridging the translational gap from preclinical to clinical development and implications for future therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a devastating liver tumor with a poor prognosis. While less than 50% of the patients with CCA may benefit from surgical resection, the rest undergoes chemotherapy with disappointing results (mean survival <2years). Alternative pharmacological treatments are needed to improve the outcomes in patients with CCA.Areas covered: In this review, we discuss CCA-related (1) experimental systems used in preclinical studies; (2) pharmacological targets identified by genetic analysis; (3) results obtained in preliminary trials in human with their pros and cons; and (4) possible targeting of endocrinal modulation. A PubMed bibliographic search matching the term 'cholangiocarcinoma' with 'experimental model', 'preclinical model', 'genetic target', 'targeted therapy', 'clinical trial', or 'translational research' was conducted and manuscripts published between 2010 and 2020 were retrieved for reading and reviewing.Expert opinion: Several factors contribute to the translational gap between bench research and clinical practice in CCA. The tumor heterogeneity, lack of a preclinical model recapitulating the different features of CCA, and difficult patient enrollment in clinical trials are elements to consider for basic and clinical research in CCA. Establishment of international networks formed by experts in the field of CCA may improve future research and its translational findings on patients.

published proceedings

  • Expert Opin Investig Drugs

author list (cited authors)

  • Baiocchi, L., Sato, K., Ekser, B., Kennedy, L., Francis, H., Ceci, L., ... Alpini, G.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Baiocchi, Leonardo||Sato, Keisaku||Ekser, Burcin||Kennedy, Lindsey||Francis, Heather||Ceci, Ludovica||Lenci, Ilaria||Alvaro, Domenico||Franchitto, Antonio||Onori, Paolo||Gaudio, Eugenio||Wu, Chaodong||Chakraborty, Sanjukta||Glaser, Shannon||Alpini, Gianfranco

publication date

  • April 2021