Systemic therapy for gallbladder cancer

Milind Javle, Haitao Zhao, Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa


Gallbladder cancer is an aggressive cancer that continues to be an important health care issue in certain regions of the world such as Southeast Asia and Latin America. Most patients are diagnosed at an advanced, unresectable stage and systemic therapy is their only option. Gallbladder cancer patients have traditionally been included in clinical trials for biliary tract cancer. Thus, systemic chemotherapy options for this cancer are similar to those for cholangiocarcinoma, including gemcitabine and cisplatin in the first line and FOLFOX in the second-line setting. Ongoing phase III clinical trials may change the systemic therapy paradigm for this cancer. Molecular profiling has indicated important genetic differences between gallbladder cancer and cholangio-carcinoma, which affects choice of targeted therapy. Her2/neu amplification, PIK3CA mutations and DNA repair genetic aberrations are relatively frequent and represent actionable targets for this cancer.