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Mayo Clinic and TGen Researchers Use Genomic Sequencing to Help Identify New Therapies for Bile Duct Cancer

Eric Klee, Ph.D.

Eric Klee, Ph.D.

Ann McCullough, M.D.

Ann McCullough, M.D.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic’s Individualized Medicine Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have personalized drug treatments for patients with cholangiocarcinoma using genomic sequencing technologies. New treatment approaches are being validated to develop new tests that physicians can use to guide therapy for this aggressive cancer of the bile ducts that progresses quickly and is difficult to treat.

Emily Barr Fritcher

Emily Barr Fritcher

Benjamin Kipp, Ph.D.

Benjamin Kipp, Ph.D.

The study, recently published in PLOS Genetics and performed by a team of 49 doctors and researchers, including Mayo Clinic’s Ann McCullough, M.D., Eric Klee, Ph.D., Benjamin Kipp, Ph.D., and Emily Barr Fritcher, found that half of the patients treated responded to either ponatinib (typically used for certain types of leukemia) or pazopinib (a kidney cancer drug), depending on the genetic alterations identified through sequencing.

According to the findings, the EGFR and FGFR cellular pathways may be therapeutically relevant for thousands of patients with this disease, and the team proposes large-scale clinical trials to test EFGR and FGFR inhibitors as possible treatments for biliary tract cancers that harbor mutations in these genes and pathways.

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