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Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) are a heterogeneous group of tumors in terms of aetiology, natural history, morphological subtypes, molecular alterations and management, but all sharing complex diagnosis, management, and poor prognosis. Several mutated genes and epigenetic changes have been detected in CCA, with the potential to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Accessing tumoral components and genetic material is therefore crucial for the diagnosis, management and selection of targeted therapies; but sampling tumor tissue, when possible, is often risky and difficult to be repeated at different time points. Liquid biopsy (LB) represents a way to overcome these issues and comprises a diverse group of methodologies centering around detection of tumor biomarkers from fluid samples. Compared to the traditional tissue sampling methods LB is less invasive and can be serially repeated, allowing a real-time monitoring of the tumor genetic profile or the response to therapy. In this review, we analysis the current evidence on the possible roles of LB (circulating DNA, circulating RNA, exosomes, cytokines) in the diagnosis and management of patients affected by CCA.

Original publication




Journal article


World J Gastrointest Oncol

Publication Date





332 - 350


Biliary tumors, Cholangiocarcinoma, Circulating DNA, Circulating RNA, Circulating biomarkers, Cytokines, Exosomes, Liquid biopsy