Treatment options for advanced cholangiocarcinoma are limited and prognosis is poor. Cholangiocarcinomas are highly heterogeneous at the molecular level, with divergent patterns between intrahepatic and extrahepatic forms, intrahepatic being particularly rich in actionable alterations. We compared survival in patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma harboring alterations matched to targeted drugs, with patients harboring nonactionable alterations.

Experimental Design:

Patients with cholangiocarcinoma treated between 2011 and 2020 at one institution, with available molecular analyses, were retrospectively reviewed. Genomic alteration actionability was classified according to the ESMO Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets (ESCAT) and correlated with efficacy endpoints.


Of 327 patients included, 78.9% had intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, 97.9% had received chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Actionable molecular alterations per ESCAT were identified in 184 patients (56.3%), including IDH1 mutations and FGFR2 fusions (23.1% and 8.0% of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, respectively). Median overall survival in 50 patients with ESCAT I-IV alterations who received matched therapy (48 with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma) was 22.6 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 20.1–32.8], compared with 14.3 months (95% CI 11.9–18.1) in 130 patients without actionable ESCAT alterations (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40–0.85; P = 0.005). Among patients receiving matched targeted therapy, median progression-free survival was longer for patients with alterations classified as ESCAT I-II compared with ESCAT III-IV (5.0 vs. 1.9 months; HR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.15–0.87; P = 0.02).


ESCAT represents a tool to guide clinicians in fine-tuning use of molecular profiling data to choose matched targeted therapies. Our data demonstrate that targeted treatment administered per alteration actionability according to ESCAT is associated with improved survival in cholangiocarcinoma, particularly in ESCAT I-II intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

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