The Action

Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) heterogeneity has limited the discovery of biomarkers and novel therapeutic options, hampering the development of tools for early diagnosis and effective treatment. However, while CCA constitutes a major challenge for researchers, clinicians, national health systems, and society, coordinated multidisciplinary pan-European studies are lacking. As such, the EURO-CHOLANGIO-NET (European Cholangiocarcinoma Network) aims to set up a pan-European-wide interdisciplinary co-operative network of stakeholders, including scientists, clinicians, regulatory authorities, small/medium enterprises (SMEs), and industry partners, to address the CCA problem.

The Objectives

This Action is coordinating efforts to advance the understanding of CCA and the translation of basic research and preclinical findings into clinical practice through the creation of shared data registries that include relevant basic and clinical-epidemiological aspects as well as through the use of conference calls, meetings, workshops, short-term scientific missions, and training schools. This Action is composed of seven working groups that deal with specific, interrelated aspects of CCA:

1) Preclinical

2) In-depth histomorphological phenotyping

3) Molecular profiling

4) Epidemiology, clinical characterization and trials

5) Early diagnostic biomarkers

6) Development of novel therapeutic targets and tools

7) Legislation and ethics

The Disease

CCAs are a heterogeneous group of cancers of the biliary tree. CCA is considered one of the deadliest cancers and its incidence is increasing constantly and dramatically in Europe. Notably, CCA is the most frequent cause of cancer metastasis of unknown origin, which suggests that the CCA problem may be underestimated.