Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Biliary Cancer

  • Urvi A. Shah
  • Amara G. Nandikolla
  • Lakshmi RajdevEmail author
Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers (L Rajdev, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers

Opinion statement

Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are rare aggressive neoplasms with a poor prognosis and a median survival of less than 1 year in the locally advanced or metastatic setting. Among the few patients who undergo curative resection the recurrence rates are high. About 90% of patients are detected at advanced stages, and systemic chemotherapy is the mainstay of their treatment. The treatment options for these patients are limited and multiple modalities of therapy from targeted therapy to immunotherapy and combination therapies (immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy) have been tested in this disease. Targeted therapies have failed to show a survival benefit. The deregulation of the immune system plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of BTCs. Therefore, immunotherapy, especially, immune checkpoint inhibitors hold great promise for this group of cancers. Numerous trials of immunotherapy in BTC are currently ongoing. In this review, we will discuss the available data and evidence for immunotherapy in BTC.


Biliary tract cancer Cholangiocarcinoma Gallbladder cancer Immunotherapy Immune checkpoint inhibitors 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Urvi A. Shah, Amara G. Nandikolla, and Lakshmi Rajdev declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urvi A. Shah
    • 1
  • Amara G. Nandikolla
    • 1
  • Lakshmi Rajdev
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA

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