Cholangiocarcinomas arise after the neoplastic transformation of the cholangiocytes that line the intra- and extra-hepatic biliary epithelium. Symptoms usually do not present until late in the course of the disease at which time they are relatively resistant to chemotherapeutic agents and as such are difficult to treat and display a poor prognosis. Because of the relative rarity of this disease, the overall volume of research into the molecular pathophysiology associated with this disease is small when compared to other more prevalent tumors. However, the incidence of this devastating cancer is on the rise and renewed efforts to understand the pathogenesis of cholangiocarcinoma is needed to design novel therapeutic strategies to combat this disease. This review summarizes the recent advances into our knowledge and understanding of cholangiocarcinoma and highlights potential novel therapeutic strategies that may prove useful to treat this deadly disease.
- Growth factors
- Gastrointestinal hormones
- Neuroendocrine hormones
- Copyright © 2010, American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology