What Is Cholangiocarcinoma?
Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that forms in bile ducts. Bile ducts are thin tubes that carry a digestive fluid called bile from your liver to other digestive organs.
In cholangiocarcinoma, a gene in the cells lining the bile duct changes abnormally, causing the cells to grow and divide without stopping. These cancer cells form tumors. Over time, some cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis.
What Causes Cholangiocarcinoma?
As mentioned previously, cholangiocarcinoma is caused by an abnormal change to a gene that causes cells inside the bile ducts to grow and divide without stopping.
There are different types of abnormal gene changes or defects that can lead to cholangiocarcinoma. These changes may include:
This occurs when parts of two different
genes abnormally join together.
This occurs when the number of copies of a
gene is increased beyond the normal number.
This is a change to a specific
portion of the normal gene.
Understanding Molecular Profiling in Cholangiocarcinoma
Watch Dr Milind Javle, a gastrointestinal oncologist, explain what molecular profiling, also known as biomarker testing, is and how this type of test can help guide the way cholangiocarcinoma—or bile duct cancer—is managed.
This video is intended for informational use only, and is not designed to replace the medical advice of your HCP.
What is the difference between “genetic” testing and “genomic” testing?
“Genetics” and “genomics” are two words that sound similar, but mean different things.
- Genetics refers to the study of single genes and how they are involved in passing down traits from generation to generation. Genetic testing helps identify genetic conditions that may be inherited like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.
- Genomics is the study of how all of a person’s genes interact with each other and the environment. An FGFR2 fusion is an example of a genomic change that can cause cholangiocarcinoma.
Find out more about cholangiocarcinoma and treatment recommendations from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)
NCCN is a not-for-profit alliance of 31 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education.*
Find out how PEMAZYRE works to target FGFR2 fusions in people with previously treated cholangiocarcinoma that has spread or cannot be removed surgically.Learn more about PEMAZYRE
* NCCN Guidelines for Patients® for Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancers - Hepatobiliary Cancers, 2021. © 2022 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, All Rights Reserved. Accessed February 23, 2022. To view the most recent and complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients, visit NCCN.org/patientguidelines.
Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Hepatobiliary Cancers V.5.2021. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Accessed February 23, 2022. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to NCCN.org. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.