Real world evidence reveals improved survival outcomes in biliary tract cancer through molecular matched targeted treatment

Bernhard Doleschal, Hossein Taghizadeh, Gerald Webersinke, Gudrun Piringer, Georg Schreil, Jörn Decker, Karl J Aichberger, Patrick Kirchweger, Josef Thaler, Andreas Petzer, Clemens A Schmitt, Gerald W Prager, Holger Rumpold

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Biliary tract cancers are rare cancers with poor prognosis due to a lack of therapeutic options, especially after the failure of first-line systemic treatment. Targeted treatments for this clinical situation are promising and have entered clinical practice. We aimed to describe the overall survival of matched targeted treatment after first-line treatment in patients with biliary tract cancers in an Austrian real-world multicenter cohort. We performed a multicenter retrospective chart review of patients with biliary tract cancer between September 2015 and January 2022. Data, including comprehensive molecular characteristics-next generation sequencing (NGS) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), clinical history, surgical procedures, ablative treatments, patient history, and systemic chemotherapy, were extracted from the records of the participating institutions. Targeted treatment was matched according to the ESMO scale for the clinical actionability of molecular targets (ESCAT). We identified 159 patients with the available molecular characteristics. A total of 79 patients underwent second-line treatment. Of these, 36 patients received matched targeted treatment beyond the first-line and were compared with 43 patients treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy in terms of efficacy outcomes. For Tier I/II alterations, we observed a progression free survival ratio (PFStargeted/PFSpre-chemotherapy) of 1.86, p = 0.059. The overall survival for patients receiving at least two lines of systemic treatment significantly favored the targeted approach, with an overall survival of 22.3 months (95% CI 14.7-29.3) vs. 17.5 months (95% CI 1.7-19.8; p = 0.048). Our results underscore the value of targeted treatment approaches based on extended molecular characterization of biliary tract cancer to improve clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15421
Pages (from-to)15421
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Austria
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing


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