Mechanisms of biliary carcinogenesis and growth.
Additional Document Info
Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare cancer originating from the neoplastic transformation of the epithelial cells (i.e. cholangiocytes) that line the biliary tract. The prognosis for patients with cholangiocarcinoma is grim due to lack of viable treatment options. The increase in world-wide incidence and mortality from cholangiocarcinoma highlights the importance of understanding the intracellular mechanisms that trigger the neoplastic transformation of cholangiocytes and the growth of biliary cancers. The purpose of the following review is to address what has been learned over the past decade concerning the molecular basis of cholangiocarcinogenesis. The material presented is divided into two sections: (1) mechanisms regulating neoplastic transformation of cholangiocytes; and (2) factors regulating cholangiocarcinoma growth. An understanding of the growth regulatory mechanisms of cholangiocarcinoma will lead to the identification of therapeutic targets for this devastating cancer.